Hollywood Didn’t Listen to the Message Americans Sent with ‘Roseanne’
Yep, the powers that be axed the sitcom after a controversial tweet by its star, but the series deserves to be on the air
A debate’s been brewing among culture critics about whether ABC made the right decision in canceling the highly successful “Roseanne” reboot in the wake of a tweet from Roseanne Barr that many deemed to be racist.
Her show earned record-breaking ratings and a quick green light for another season earlier this year, but Barr got herself in trouble by tweeting one night that former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett seemed a cross between the “Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes.”
Jarrett is African-American — and, appalled, ABC quickly canceled “Roseanne.”
Others saw the tweet as little more than a comedian’s joke in terrible taste, and the cancellation as too harsh a response.
Barr’s tweet aside, it is an absolute shame “Roseanne” is gone. The show earned tens of millions of viewers every week for very good reasons. It was one of the few programs that tackled today’s political and cultural divides in an honest way.
Unlike most shows today — which constantly berate the current president and his supporters — the series presented a sympathetic view of people on both the Right and the Left. It showed there's still a way to communicate and get along with others with differing views.
Instead of making a political agenda its main goal — think of "Will & Grace" or "Our Cartoon President" — "Roseanne" focused on character. It gave a realistic view of middle-class America that was refreshing from Hollywood, a place that seems more disconnected by the day from the average American family.
Barr has apologized for her comments.
She also said she was tired and on Ambien when she tweeted, but she hasn't yet been offered an in-depth interview about the controversy.
At the end of the day, the comedian made a bad joke, one that's admittedly indefensible. She has a history of doing so. She apologized, though — and there are plenty of liberals who have made and who make far worse comments and are never punished for them, even by ABC parent company Disney.
The cancellation of "Roseanne" is a harsh overreaction by a network that was already in hot water itself not too long ago for canceling the right-leaning sitcom "Last Man Standing" with little explanation.
With deepening cultural divides in America, "Roseanne" was and still is the show America needs.
One bad joke by an actor on a sitcom should not mean the end of a creative production that had so much going for it.