After a 20-year hiatus, the hit sitcom “Roseanne” returned to ABC in March, just to be canceled three months later. On Tuesday, May 26th, ABC pulled a rerun episode of “Roseanne” from their lineup hours after Roseanne Barr posted a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, an African American woman who was the Senior Adviser to Barack Obama throughout his Presidency. ABC has since officially canceled the show and has pulled all episodes from their TV Network and online platforms.
Roseanne tweeted, “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”
Roseanne has since apologized for her comment, deleted the original tweet and tweeted the following after “Roseanne” had been canceled:
After claiming that she would delete Twitter, Roseanne then tweeted over 100 times both apologizing and defending her actions. Barr said she was on Ambien, a medication used to treat insomnia, at the time of her tweet about Jarrett.
In one tweet, she said, “[Guys] I did something unforgiveable so do not defend me. It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting — it was memorial day too — i went 2 far & do not want it defended — it was egregious Indefensible. I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but…don’t defend it please.”
She tweeted again shortly after, saying, “Not giving excuses for what I did(tweeted) but I’ve done weird stuff while on ambien — cracked eggs on the wall at 2am etc.”
Sanofi, the manufacturer of the drug Ambien, responded specifically to the tweet above, tweeting:
The show “Roseanne” was expected to return in September for a 13-episode run. CNN reported that the show brought in an estimated $45 million in advertising revenue for ABC and was expected to make another $60 million.
ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey released a statement, saying, “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”
Disney CEO Bob Igor also added, “There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.”
President Donald Trump responded as well, and tweeted the following regarding Igor and Roseanne:
The response to Roseanne’s tweet by ABC shows how seriously corporations have to handle intolerant behavior, even if it means sacrificing profits in the short term. Other corporations will have to decide if they should handle future situations like this in such a decisive manner.