Roseanne reboot cancelled, its star dropped from agency after anti-Black tweet
ABC’s Roseanne reboot was cancelled within hours of its star making an anti-Black tweet. With her unique brand of virulent racism, Roseanne Barr targeted ex-Obama staffer Valerie Jarrett in a now-deleted posted essentially stating that Jarrett is what happens when the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes has a baby.
Unfettered anti-Black racism on full display should always result in swift consequences, but many are wondering why Barr was even given a show in the first place, given how her politics were tied to Donald Trump before the show was rebooted, and she even retweeted and took pro neo-Nazi positions on Twitter.
Almost immediately after Barr’s tweet, consulting producer of the show Wanda Sykes tweeted out that she would not be returning, and it only snowballed from there, culminating in a statement from ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey: “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”
Additionally, Roseanne Barr’s talent agency, ICM Partners dropped her, explaining via an internal memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. “We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning,” The note to employees reads. “What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency. Consequently, we have notified her that we will not represent her. Effective immediately, Roseanne Barr is no longer a client.”
Tom Werner, whose company Casey-Werner Executive produced both the original show and this recent Trump-flavored reboot, still defended the show after the firing, stating, “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.”
The show’s cancellation leaves ABC with a gaping hole in its programming as Shonda Rhimes, who essentially was keeping the network afloat with Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder, departs for Netflix in the fall as part of her new multimillion dollar deal.