While she has certainly been known to stir some controversy in the past, Roseanne Barr showed her true colors today when she thoughtlessly and abhorrently tweeted “If Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes had a baby=VJ”. “VJ” refers to Valerie Jarrett, a former advisor to Barack Obama during his presidency. Ms. Barr’s tweet quickly began making news headlines.
Even her fellow Roseanne cast mates and writing staff began calling her out on her vehemently racist tweet. “I will not be returning to @RoseanneOnABC” tweeted comedienne Wanda Sykes, who was one of the revival’s head writers. Sara Gilbert (Executive Producer and “Darlene” on the show) expressed her disappointment with Barr by tweeting “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”.
Gilbert added in a second tweet, “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”. Barr attempted to apologize after receiving backlash over her remarks, however by this point, it was too late.
After several calls for the show’s cancellation, ABC President Channing Dungey issued the following statement: “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.” This was no small decision for the Disney-owned network, as the Roseanne revival produced record-breaking ratings and had already been renewed for a 13-episode second season.
Actress Emma Kenney, who played Roseanne’s granddaughter Harris on the show tweeted the following in response to the cancellation: “I am hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed. The racist and distasteful comments from Roseanne are inexcusable.”
In a second tweet, the young star revealed that she had planned to quit the show immediately after reading Barr’s remarks: “As I called my manager to quit working on Roseanne, I was told it was cancelled. I feel so empowered by @iamwandasykes , Channing Dungey and anyone at ABC standing up for morals and abuse of power. Bullies will NEVER win.”
In addition to the show’s cancellation, Roseanne has also been dropped from her talent agency, ICM Partners.