You’re Cancelled: ABC Cuts ‘Roseanne’ after Actress’ Tasteless Twitter Rant
Written by Kiara Powell
Following a racist tweet on Tuesday morning from Roseanne Barr that insulted former president Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, the ABC sitcom “Roseanne” has been cancelled. The show premiered to 18 million live viewers when it first aired in March.
Almost immediately after Rosanne’s tweets were sent, many of her co-stars replied condemning her comments, including Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer, who tweeted “I will not be returning to @RoseanneOnABC,” and Sara Gilbert, who played Roseanne’s daughter on the show. Roseanne deleted the tweet a few minutes after, stating “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. I am now leaving Twitter.” Her tweet, however, was too little, too late. Roseanne was dropped from her talent agency, ICM Partners shortly after.
In a climate where people are now being held accountable for their racist words and actions on and off-line, this is a step in the right direction for ABC, who has been criticized for allowing “Roseanne” to air as long as it has been, despite its numerous racist plotlines.
In a statement made by Channing Dungey, a black woman who became the first African-American president of a major TV network, Dungey states “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”
Hearing this decision made from a black woman could change the tide for the entertainment industry, which is famous for being a “good ol’ boys club” due to its high percentage of executive leadership being white men. Because of this, racism in television shows and movies, along with racist actors and actresses, have been able to get by and be successful, mainly because there wasn’t a person of color in the room to call them out. Now that a black woman is in a position to openly criticize choices that have been made and incite necessary change,this hopefully will lead to other networks following her lead. This decision made by Dungey shows how important diversity at the executive level is. With people from different backgrounds who hold different perspectives than white men, networks like ABC can skip over racist talent and give others a chance to be successful in the entertainment industry, thus being more inclusive.
Kiara M.P. is a brand designer from Richmond, Virginia, specializing in copywriting and digital content. When she’s not writing, she enjoys going to concerts, visiting national parks and Yelping about her favorite restaurants.