In what must be a television first, the US network ABC has cancelled its Roseanne revival following a racist tweet by star Roseane Barr.
Barr attacked Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama, in a since-deleted tweet in which she said “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” Barr subsequently apologised: “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’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said today.
Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger also weighed in on the decision to cancel Roseanne: “There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing,” he tweeted.
Showrunner Bruce Helford added in a statement of his own: “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.”
Channel TEN confirmed this morning the series was being pulled, effective immediately.
Rerun episodes have been pulled from Hulu, Paramount Network, TV Land, and CMT.
In the wake of the backlash, Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer said she would not be returning to the second season
Following the cancellation, executive producer Tome Werner issued a statement saying, “I support ABC’s decision to cancel the show in the wake of Roseanne Barr’s most recent reprehensible tweets. Our goal was to promote constructive discussion about the issues that divide us. It represented the work of hundreds of talented people. I hope the good work done is not totally eclipsed by these abhorrent and offensive comments, and that Roseanne seeks the help she so clearly needs.”
Series co-star and executive producer Sara Gilbert then condemned 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.”
Roseanne Barr has quit Twitter.
Barr has returned to Twitter to say: “Don’t feel sorry for me, guys!!-I just want to apologize to the hundreds of people, and wonderful writers (all liberal) and talented actors who lost their jobs on my show due to my stupid tweet. I will be on Joe Rogan’s podcast friday” adding “losing my show is 0 compared 2 being labelled a racist over one tweet-that I regret even more”
Foxtel has dropped Roseanne episodes due today and tomorrow. After that their license had expired anyway.