Media outlets are reporting that the Roseanne revival has been cancelled at ABC due to Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet referring to former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett as looking like the offspring of the “Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes.”
Valerie Jarrett, an African-American, was born in Iran to American parents. When someone pointed out that the tweet was racist, she responded that “Muslims r NOT a race”. This led to multiple users tweeting/messaging the network about cancelling the show due and Roseanne Barr deleted the tweet not long after, tweeting an apology stating that her joke was in “bad taste”.
ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey released a statement saying:
Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.
Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger voiced his support for the cancellation by tweeting:
There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.
Following her comments, Wanda Sykes, who works in a consulting producer capacity on the revival series, announced she would not be returning for the show’s second season, with series co-star Sara Gilbert condemning Barr’s comments, saying:
Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least. This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love— one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member.
Fellow cast member Emma Kenney added:
I am hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed. The racist and distasteful comments from Roseanne are inexcusable. As I called my manager to quit working on Roseanne, I found out the show got cancelled. I feel so empowered by @iamwandasykes , Channing Dungey and those at ABC standing up against abuse of power and lack of values. Bullies do not win. Ever.
Executive producer/showrunner Bruce Helford said:
On behalf of all the writers and producers, we worked incredibly hard to create an amazing show. I was personally horrified and saddened by the comments and in no way do they reflect the values of the people who worked so hard to make this the iconic show that it is.
The revival of the comedy series was set to air it’s thirteen-episode eleventh season later in the year. This season the series finished as the No. 1 scripted primetime series in the 18-49 demographic according to the Nielsen numbers, with the premier set to have gained 18.4m viewers, which rose to 2 7.3m in Live+7. Disney-ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood even noted at the ABC’s upfront presentation two weeks ago that ABC had not had televisions No. 1 show in twenty-four years.