ABC Abruptly Cancels Revived “Roseanne”

The Story:

In swift reaction to a racist tweet from one of its stars, Roseanne Barr, the TV network ABC last week cancelled its biggest hit of the season, the revival of the 1980s-90s sitcom “Roseanne,” which chronicled the struggles of the blue-collar Conner family.

The Background:

The original series was hailed by many on the political left in the US as representing “the kind of class-militant populism that the Democrats … never seem to get right,” as one activist put it. Barr played family matriarch Roseanne Conner.

The revived series, which premiered on March 27, featured the same cast, but it portrayed a Roseanne Connor who sounded a lot like many Trump supporters. Some saw it as a valuable bridge between “red” and “blue” America, proof that they can learn to talk to one another.

Then This Happened:

“Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” went a tweet Barr sent out to the world Tuesday morning. The VJ was a reference to Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Obama throughout the eight years of his administration. Jarrett, a black woman,  was born in Iran to American expats.

The Thing to Know:

ABC, in cancelling the show hours after that tweet, said that the tweet was “abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values.” Networks carrying reruns of the original Roseanne episodes soon announced they are also dropped, and even Barr’s talent agency, ICM Partners, has terminated her as a client.

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