ABC has pulled the plug on its revival of Roseanne following racist remarks made by the show’s star, Roseanne Barr.
In tweet posted Tuesday morning, Barr referred to former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett as the offspring of the “Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes.” She later deleted the tweet and apologized for what she called a “bad joke,” but the damage was done. Within hours, ABC decided to cancel Roseanne.
“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 in a statement.
It’s a remarkable fall from grace for the TV sitcom, which returned to the air after 20 years to much fanfare and massive ratings. The premiere of Roseanne’s 10th season drew nearly 30 million viewers, and though subsequent episodes experienced a dip in viewership, the show maintained an average audience of 20 million through its seven-episode run. Based on those numbers, it ranked as the second most viewed TV series of 2018.
Prior to ABC’s announcement, members of Roseanne’s cast and production staff began to distance themselves from Barr. Wanda Sykes, who served as a consulting producer on the show, announced that she would not return for future episodes.
Sara Gilbert, who played Darlene on the show, described Barr’s “recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more” as “abhorrent and they “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,” she said in a follow-up tweet.
Added cast member Emma Kenney, “I am hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed. The racist and distasteful comments from Roseanne are inexcusable.”
This is a developing story…