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FILE PHOTO: Actress Roseanne Barr waves on her arrival to the 75th Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., January 7, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo - RC12FF42D420

ABC cancels ‘Roseanne’ after comedian’s racist comment

ABC Entertainment’s president says the network has decided to cancel the “Roseanne” reboot, the PBS NewsHour has confirmed.

The cancellation of the show’s revival comes after the show’s titular star issued an apology for referring to Valerie Jarrett, a White House adviser under former President Barack Obama, as a combination of the Muslim Brotherhood and “Planet of the Apes.”

“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.

Jarrett, in response, said ABC made the correct call in canceling “Roseanne.”

“I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment,” she said at an MSNBC town hall on racism in America scheduled to air tonight. Jarrett was slated to take part in the town hall before Barr made her comments.

ICM Partners, who represented Barr, has also dropped her as a client.

“We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning,” ICM Partners told the NewsHour. “What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency.”

The comment came in a tweet issued by the actress today. She was responding to a Twitter thread in which one user claimed that Obama spied on French presidential candidates and another called Obama a “crooked man” who “hid it well.” Another Twitter user responded that “Jarrett helped hide a lot.” And then, Barr chimed in with: “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”

The tweet has since been deleted. Jarrett is black and was born in Iran.

“I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans,” Barr tweeted. “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.”

After having been off the air for two decades, “Roseanne” had 25 million viewers tune in to the first episode of the modern revival. The comeback was praised by some critics for its comedic attempt to feature a family divided over U.S. politics today, with some cast members wearing “Nasty Woman” T-shirts and others “Make America Great Again” hats.

But comments from Roseanne Barr herself, a public supporter of President Donald Trump on and off the screen, have added to controversy surrounding her moral character. 

Before ABC Entertainment issued its rebuke of Barr, “Roseanne” consulting producer and writer Wanda Sykes announced she will not be returning to the second season after Barr’s tweets set off a firestorm online.

Hours ago, Barr informed her 670,000 followers that she would be leaving the social media platform. Barr’s account still remains active as of 2:30 p.m. ET.

The original “Roseanne” was lauded for its depiction of a middle class family living in Illinois, being one of the few sitcoms to grapple with issue of class, a theme the reboot has continued.

“Look at Roseanne, I called her yesterday, look at her ratings,” Trump said at an infrastructure speech in Richfield, Ohio in March.

Today, Donald Trump Jr. retweeted a separate Twitter rant from the ABC star, this time aimed at Chelsea Clinton and Democratic donor George Soros whom Barr referred to as “a nazi who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered.”

Trump Jr., who has been most vocal in the Trump family in praising Barr’s revival of Trump’s America, tweeted on March 28 “congrats @therealroseanne” adding “seems there’s some demand for an alternative viewpoint.”

Barr has long embraced right wing conspiracy theories on social media, and has previously come under scrutiny for her tweet giving student activist David Hogg, who survived the Parkland shooting, a “NAZI SALUTE.”

Robert Iger, Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, weighed in himself by tweeting out ABC Entertainment’s statement.

Roseanne the TV show had already been renewed for another season, as Jeffrey Brown reported in March, but today the growing chorus calling on ABC to part ways with the comedian grew.


Here’s reaction on social media to both Barr’s tweets and ABC’s cancellation of the show:

The Rev. Al Sharpton: 

Alyssa Mastromonaco, who worked with Jarrett in the Obama White House: 

Conservative writer Erick Erickson:

TV host Joe Scarborough: 

Hey @ABC, Roseanne Barr compared Valerie Jarrett to an ape. There is no apology she can make that justifies @ABC turning…

Posted by Joe Scarborough on Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Comedian Maz Jobrani: 

Actress Patricia Arquette: 

Actor Don Cheadle:

Tom Arnold, actor and Barr’s ex-husband:

Chelsea Clinton: 

Actress Debra Messing:

Dan Pfeiffer, who worked with Valerie Jarrett in the Obama White House:

Danny Zuker, who wrote for original airing of “Roseanne”:

Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics: 

 Ava DuVernay, American film director:

Emma Kenney, “Roseanne” actress:

Sara Gilbert, “Roseanne” actress:

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.,: 

Deray Mckesson, activist:

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