‘ABC Knew Exactly What They Were Getting into with Roseanne’
On 'The Ingraham Angle,' a frank discussion about the almost split-second cancellation of the record-breaking sitcom
Alveda King, a niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a supporter of President Donald Trump, told Laura Ingraham of Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” that she believed ABC made the right move in dumping the smash hit “Roseanne” from its lineup.
“There has to be a message that this is not what we’re about,” King said on Tuesday night. “I believe that it is a teachable moment [for the country].”
A tweet by Roseanne Barr is what led to the end of her hit show, “Roseanne,” on Tuesday. Barr tweeted out on her account that former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett was a cross between the “[M]uslim brotherhood & planet of the apes.”
Shortly thereafter, she deleted the tweet, apologized, and wrote, “I apologize. I am now leaving Twitter. 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.”
But it was too late. Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, released a statement saying, “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”
This now raises the question: Did ABC make the right move in canceling the show, and tossing a whole bunch of people out of work with it, because of one tweet from one actor on it?
Although Barr was fired for her words — and there is no defending at all what she wrote — there have been many leftist television personalities who have conducted themselves in a similar (or worse) fashion, and who still have jobs.
ESPN, which is owned by ABC parent company Disney, hired controversial anti-Trump personality Keith Olbermann last week to appear on “SportsCenter” and to broadcast baseball games. This is the same man who called U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos a “m*****f*****”; Ann Coulter a “guy [who] wants to live his life as a woman”; Michelle Malkin a “big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it”; and S.E. Cupp “the perfect demonstration of the necessity of the work Planned Parenthood does.”
Plus, his Twitter feed is loaded references to how and why President Donald Trump should “go f*** yourself.”
ABC also appeared to have no discipline in mind when Joy Behar, a co-host of “The View,” said that Vice President Mike Pence has a “mental illness” because he is a proud Christian. She ultimately apologized, to both the vice president directly and then on the air.
Howard Kurtz, host of “Media Buzz” on Fox News, noted he could see the double standard in ABC’s decision, but that there was one key difference in this case.
“A lot of comedians and commentators have survived these offensive comments when they have apologized,” he told Ingraham Tuesday night. “The difference here, I think, is that Roseanne Barr touched the third rail of race. It’s very hard to come back from that. Roseanne should’ve been on top of the world, not on Twitter spewing this anger.”
Ingraham then posed this question to Kurtz: “Did ABC not know what they were getting with Roseanne?”
He responded, “ABC knew exactly what they were getting into with Roseanne. She has been spreading conspiracy theories from Nazis to 9/11 for years. It was a gamble year that maybe she could create a funny pro-Trump show that touched a lot of people in the country, but ABC can’t pretend to be blindsided here.”
Remember, this is the same Roseanne Barr who said 9/11 was an inside job, who stands firmly against vaccination and GMO use, who tweeted about “Jewish mind control” in 2012, and who disrespected the national anthem in 1990 in a performance that then-President George H.W. Bush called “disgraceful.”
As a person, Barr clearly has her flaws. However, giving the world a sitcom that lasted for 10 seasons about working-class Americans is not one of them.
Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, ESPN, and other outlets.