ABC, in a stunning move, has decided to cancel its Roseanne revival following star Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet Tuesday.
“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 Tuesday.
Early Tuesday, star, head writer and exec producer Barr attacked Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama, in a since-deleted tweet in which she said “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” Barr subsequently apologized: “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.”
Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger also weighed in on the decision to cancel Roseanne: “There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing,” he tweeted.
Showrunner Bruce Helford added in a statement of his own: “On behalf of all the writers and producers, we worked incredibly hard to create an amazing show. I was personally horrified and saddened by the comments and in no way do they reflect the values of the people who worked so hard to make this the iconic show that it is.”
Barr’s tweet prompted a massive outcry across social media, with thousands condeming the actress-comedian’s comments and calling on ABC to cancel her series. The Disney-owned network’s decision to cancel the comedy marked the first time the network has taken action in response to one of Barr’s controversial tweets.
Axing the Roseanne revival was no small decision for ABC. The rebooted comedy debuted its nine-episode run midseason and finished as the TV season’s No. 1 scripted series on all of broadcast. Roseanne had been averaging a 5.5 rating among adults 18-49 and 19.3 million viewers with live-plus-3 lifts. With a full week of time-shifting, those numbers climbed to a 6.4 rating in the key demo and 22.1 million viewers. Either way, Roseanne was the highest-rated and most watched series of the broadcast season, eclipsing NBC’s This Is Us and CBS’ Big Bang Theory — which had been in a heated battle for top status.
SOURCE: Lesley Goldberg
The Hollywood Reporter