By Dan Calabrese
That was quick. From the biggest hit of the season to gonzo. Just like that.
I guess ratings cut you only so much slack. Or maybe that statement applies only selectively, depending who you are.
It’s hard to see how Roseanne failed to understand the trouble she’d be bringing on herself with what she tweeted, but even so, this is an awful lot of trouble awfully fast:
Walt Disney Co’s ABC network canceled the popular U.S. television comedy “Roseanne” on Tuesday after star Roseanne Barr compared a former Obama administration official to an ape in remarks on Twitter.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said in a statement.
In a since-deleted comment on Twitter, Barr wrote that former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett was equivalent to the Islamist political movement “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby.”Barr, 65, apologized “for making a bad joke” about Jarrett, who is black and was born in Iran to American parents.
“Roseanne” was ABC’s biggest hit of the 2017-2018 season. The show drew an average of 18.7 million viewers, second only to CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” according to Nielsen data through May 20.
It seems plausible to me that the “Planet of the Apes” references wasn’t intended in the racist-blacks-as-apes sense, but it’s harder to believe she didn’t realize people would take it that way.
ABC was under pressure from social justice warriors to put a muzzle on Roseanne for her pro-Trump sentiments, but dollars talk and the show was killing it. Now all the work that was done to put the cast back together, write the scripts, build the sets, everything, and all done so successfully . . . out with the trash. It seems hard to believe.
Roseanne is certainly not the first celebrity to say something controversial about a public figure, and many have done so while keeping their jobs. But when your bosses are under pressure and might welcome an excuse to get rid of you, it doesn’t take much, and she gave them plenty.
Welcome to the world in which we now live. I can’t say we’re better for it.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!