ABC TV network has dropped a show of Emmy award winning comedian Roseanne Barr after she posted a racist tweet targeting a former aide of Barack Obama and likening the African-American lady to an ape.
Without wasting time, the ABC moved in with lightening speed and announced its decision, “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values and we have decided to cancel her show.”
Barr’s tweet (now deleted) said that Valerie Jarrett was the child of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes film. Her tweet came in response to a Twitter user, who accused Jarrett, a senior adviser to former US President Barack Obama, of helping to conceal alleged spying during the Obama administration. Jarret was born in Iran to African-American parents.
Barr, a known supporter of President Donald Trump, was asked to reboot her hit show from the 90s, Roseanne, on the ABC. She had even won an Emmy Award for her brilliant performance in the past.
The comedian quickly deleted her tweet and apologised but that was not enough to stop the backlash. She wrote, “I apologise to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans,” Barr wrote, after follow-up posts in which she defended her remarks as a “joke”.
“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,” she added.
Her rebooted show was an instant hit among the audience. Its premiere in March was watched by more than 25 million people. The network renewed the contract for the second season even before the first season had ended. Trump had called her to congratulate her on the success of the rebooted show.
The cancellation stunned Hollywood. Industry veterans said they’ve never seen anything quite like it. The revival of “Roseanne” premiered to huge ratings just three months ago. Pre-production was already underway on a second season, which was scheduled for Tuesdays at 8 p.m. this fall.
Barr later informed said reruns of her sitcom had also been cancelled by other networks. A spokesman for Viacom, which owns various networks including Paramount, earlier said it would stop airing old episodes. The streaming service Hulu also said it would be removing the sitcom from its library.
Robert Iger, chief executive of Disney, ABC’s parent company, had called her to apologise and said he had “zero tolerance” for Barr’s tweet.
Following ABC’s cancellation notice, Barr’s talent agency, ICM Partners, dropped her as a client.
ABC pulling the plug on its successful show and not caring about its financial losses, comes just weeks after the Indian government rewarded a journalist for her ugly racism by hiring her as a consultant with the Lok Sabha TV.
Jagrati Shukla, a former journalist, who shot to social media fame in the recent months because of her call for massacre in Jammu and Kashmir and justification of the Sikhs’ genocide in 1984, has been rewarded with a job with the government-owned channel, Lok Sabha TV.