Although the series Roseanne returned to the airwaves with much anticipation and a Trump worthy audience, its time of death arrived quickly. And yet, many are questioning why Barr was welcomed to return to network television in the first place given her history of bizarre and bigoted statements.
Her most recent comments were called “abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values,” by ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey and Barr’s talent agency, ICM Partners, severed their relationship stating, “What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency.”
Even Fox News kingpin and Trump sidekick Sean Hannity condemned Barr for her tweet likening Jarrett to an “ape.”
Nonetheless, looking back over Barr’s twitter history, egregious statements run amuck. Let’s not forget that she called Susan Rice, the National Security Advisor for the Obama Administration, a “man with big swinging ape balls,” or that she called Huma Abedin “a filthy Nazi whore” and “Jew hater.” She is known for being Islamophobic and racist.
Barr also has an obsession with conspiracy theories and has claimed that 9/11 was an inside job. She promoted Pizzagate, claiming that Hillary Clinton was connected to a child molestation ring that was operating out of a pizza shop. Barr argued that Hollywood did not support Trump as a presidential candidate because they were victims of the CIA mind control program MKUltra. And now she continues to support the idea of QAnon, that Donald Trump and Robert Mueller are working together to arrest and imprison thousands of democrats.
Twitter exploded with praise for ABC’s handling of Barr’s tweet claiming that the network took the moral high ground. Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted that “there was only one thing to do here, and it was the right thing.”
While cancelling the show was the “right” thing to do, if morals were the only basis, Barr’s reboot would never have happened. ABC jumped at the idea of a show that presented a caricature of the white American Trump supporting Christian – a problematic image in itself. The network ignored Barr’s erratic, bizarre, and bigoted statements in favor of ratings gold. Airing with 18 million views and praise from Donald Trump claiming the show is about “us,” ABC hit its mark and the show maintained the number one spot in television for the season.
However, with this most recent racist tweet, ABC realized that keeping Roseanne on the air would be more costly than canceling it. As a network that claims to be reflective of the diverse nature of Americans, is the home of Shonda Rhimes, Black-ish, and Fresh off the Boat, and with massive sponsor back outs on the way, ABC knew it was time to say goodbye to the Conner family. And that is the bottom line. Profits, not morals.
What most are not talking about is that Barr, who has repeatedly said that she is controlled by no one and does whatever she wants, caused more than 200 individuals, the cast and crew of Roseanne, to lose their jobs. With just a few words sent out into the twittersphere, Barr narcissistically disrupted the financial and employment situations of many who do not share her bigoted ideas.
Some cast tweeted their dismay at Barr’s comment.
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.
— sara gilbert (@THEsaragilbert) May 29, 2018
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.
— sara gilbert (@THEsaragilbert) May 29, 2018
I am hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed. The racist and distasteful comments from Roseanne are inexcusable.
— Emma Kenney (@EmmaRoseKenney) May 29, 2018
— Michael Fishman (@ReelMFishman) May 29, 2018
However, it must be noted that the cast will move on and have other acting opportunities. My guess is that they are not living paycheck to paycheck like many of the hard working crew members. They are the ones who are directly impacted by the repercussions and injustice of Barr’s narcissism and bigotry. The crew are left in a position to scramble for new jobs hoping not to lose substantial income in the meantime while Barr will continue to tweet knowing her financial future is secure. It is just another example of the growing economic justice in our nation.
While Barr apologized and announced that she would take herself off Twitter, she returned less than 24 hours later to claim an “Ambien defense” saying she was under the influence while tweeting. Although, as the manufacturer pointed out, racism is not a side effect of the drug.
The Roseanne fiasco has put much in the spotlight. While many have celebrated ABC for canceling the show, we should take a step back to look at the big picture and recognize how our society is reflected in this particular situation.
Racism and bigotry continue to thrive, persons in power have the ability to crush the lives of those “beneath” them, and money always trumps morals (pun intended).