ABC cancels 'Roseanne' after star's racist tweet on Obama's aide

ABC on Tuesday cancelled its popular show 'Roseanne' after actress Roseanne Barr made a controversial tweet on former US President Barack Obama's senior advisor Valerie Jarrett.

In a statement, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey called Roseanne's tweet as "abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent", according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show," Dungey said.

Supporting the decision to scrap off the 'Roseanne' sitcom, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger tweeted, "There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing."

Earlier on Tuesday, Barr launched a blistering attack on Jarrett saying that the latter was the child of the Islamist organisation Muslim Brotherhood and the movie "Planet of the Apes."

Barr wrote on the micro-blogging site saying, "muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj."

She later deleted the tweet and apologised for her comments, saying "her joke was in bad taste."

"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," Barr added.

Barr also announced that she was leaving Twitter.

However, Barr's comments triggered a massive furore across social media, with many fans condemning her controversial comments and urging the ABC to cancel the show.

ABC's decision to scrap Roseanne was the first time the Disney-owned network took in response to Barr's racial tweet on Jarett.

The sitcom was eyeing a return for an expanded 11th season of 13 episodes this fall, as the ABC wanted to build on the show's popularity.

Roseanne was set to premiere on Tuesdays at 8 pm (local time). But following the scrapping of the show, ABC now heads into the 2018-19 broadcast season without the No. 1 TV series, the report further said.

The sitcom earlier debuted its nine-episode run in March and finished as the TV season's No. 1 scripted series on all of broadcast. It had been averaging a 5.5 rating and has been a rage among the adults (18-49 years) and 19.3 million viewers with live-plus-3 lifts. With a full week of time-shifting, the numbers later climbed to a 6.4 rating in the key demo and 22.1 million viewers, according to the report.

The show was adjudged as the most watched and highest rated series of all the broadcast, overtaking other popular shows like NBC's "This Is Us" and CBS' "Big Bang Theory" respectively.

Roseanne co-star and the show's executive producer Sara Gilbert lambasted Barr's tweet.

"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 wrote on Twitter.

Wanda Sykes, who was a consultant during the sitcom's first season also said that she would not be a part of the series after Barr's controversial 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," Skyes tweeted.

Earlier, Barr said that she was a "huge admirer and a vocal defender" of US President Donald Trump.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Barr said that she decided to turn her character, Roseanne Conner, into a Trump supporter saying "it was an accurate portrayal of the political preferences of many working-class Americans.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel