ABC has cancelled their Roseanne revival, proving again that the entertainment industry may actually hold themselves to current higher standards than the actual White House.
The termination of the program - which came abruptly within the last hour - is in response to yet another outburst from star Roseanne Barr, who on Tuesday Tweeted a since-deleted transmission about former advisor to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett:
"muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”
That's obviously racist as fuck, and comedian and consulting producer Wanda Sykes wasn't going to stand for it, saying on her own Twitter:
I will not be returning to @RoseanneOnABC.— Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) May 29, 2018
But the hits just kept on coming for Roseanne today, who quickly tried to apologize (no doubt in a move mandated by her reps/the network):
I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me-my joke was in bad taste.— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 29, 2018
However, ABC President Channing Dungey announced the cancellation of Roseanne, saying in a brief statement:
"Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show."
Boom goes the dynamite. On one hand, the end of her program is sort of a bummer, as we're losing a piece of pop culture that may have been more politically-nuanced than most initially believed. Per Ani Bundel:
"Even the choice to portray Roseanne as a Trump-voter is less stereotypical than the voters seen in media profiles. She begrudgingly supports Becky being able to make reproductive choices, even if she privately — or not so privately — thinks that it’s a terrible idea to be a surrogate, especially to someone she rightly judges as an upper-class twit. (Said upper-class twit, Andrea, is played by Sarah Chalke, aka “Becky 2.0,” in what is perhaps the cleverest double casting in a decade.) Darlene’s son Mark is portrayed as gender-fluid, and the show manages to portray both the shows characters’ support and love for him as an individual while being realistic that such support is not a sign of radical change about the gender norms themselves."
Nevertheless, these sort of fictional statements do not excuse the star's offset behavior (and, given the way TV is crafted by a team of professionals, probably don't reflect Roseanne's POV at all). This is the danger of giving a volatile alt. right supporting asshole a massive platform from which to shout their insane, bigoted garbage. ABC bringing the axe down on Roseanne (not to mention ICM Partners dropping the comedian as a client shortly thereafter) sends a clear message: entertaining these sort of viewpoints cannot be tolerated one iota.
Take your white nationalist garbage to the unemployment line, Roseanne Barr (or whichever network decides to wrongheadedly gamble on picking up your show after it was dropped like a hot rock). There's no room for it on ABC anymore.