After a whirlwind of (new) controversy surrounding the actions of Roseanne Barr today, ABC President Channing Dungey released a statement saying: “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”
Short and to the point! Earlier today, Barr went on a Twitter rant (not her first, and unlikely her last) in which she referred to a former top Obama aide, Valerie Jarrett, by saying “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” She has since apologized and also said she was leaving Twitter:
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.
— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 29, 2018
But this was just one of several bizarre statements the actress made on social media, which set off a chain reaction across the Twitterverse, including causing her co-star Wanda Sykes to quit the show:
I will not be returning to @RoseanneOnABC.
— Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) May 29, 2018
And now, in response, ABC has officially cancelled the series, although who knows if some other network will try and pick it up. The Roseanne revival made headlines for bringing in 18 million live viewers for its debut, nearly unheard of in this age of scripted broadcast television, and though its numbers fell as it reached its finale, it still closed with a robust 10 million viewers. That’s a ton, and it’s why the revival was initially picked up for Season 2.
But ABC has shown that they are willing to kill off their golden goose in the name of taste and decency, which you can look at as cynically as you choose. Still, the network has drawn a line here, one that is worth commending. Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger also supports the move, saying:
From Channing Dungey, President of ABC Entertainment: "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show."
There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) May 29, 2018
We’ll let you know more if news continues to develop; in the meantime, let us know your thoughts — were you watching Roseanne? Does this cancellation matter to you? Did ABC do the right thing? (That tweet was so overtly racist though how could it have panned out any other way?)
For more cancellation and renewal news, check out our TV Lifeline.