Do you understand what just happened? ABC cancelled the No. 3 show on television, because it would not be associated with its crazy, racist star. That’s huge. And, ABC made the correct decision.
How could they carry on with her after she tweeted this? “VJ” is Valerie Jarrett, an Obama White House assistant?
This is what a big financial deal this is to ABC. From the NYT:
Although the second season of “Roseanne” was not scheduled to air for four months, the timing of Ms. Barr’s racist post was terrible for ABC. She wrote the message just two weeks after the network made its pitch to advertisers about its coming fall lineup, with the hope of attracting up to $9 billion in advertising commitments by summer’s end. “Roseanne,” and its enormous audience and broad appeal, was the centerpiece of ABC’s presentation. Ms. Barr was introduced to the stage at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall before any other ABC executive or star.
This is not about “political correctness.” Had Roseanne Barr stated an unpopular opinion, but done so civilly, no big deal. But she didn’t do that.
She called a black woman an ape.
She deserved what she got. Just so you’ll recall what a vulgar person she is, above, Roseanne back in the 1990s, after belting out the National Anthem as an extended screech. Hear it here, if you can stand it.
UPDATE: I know, I know: the artist is separate from her art. If I enjoyed Roseanne shows to begin with, I would continue to do so, even though she is demonstrably a nasty wack-job. But as a business proposition, ABC would take a massive blow from this if they stood by her.
“But,” you say, “that’s all the NFL owners are doing with the mandatory National Anthem rule: protecting their business interests.” You have something of a point, but the comparison is faulty. A quiet political protest is not the same thing as calling a black person an ape. Colin Kaepernick’s pig socks are in that ballpark, certainly, but the NFL kneelers on the whole aren’t wearing pig socks.
It is a sign of civic health that someone who is making a fortune for a TV network can still lose her position when she indulges in disgusting rhetoric like that. Some things you can’t say in public without consequence. Where we draw that line will always be under contention, but we ought to all agree that Roseanne Barr crossed it.