Well, that didn’t take long.
One of America’s most beloved 90s sitcoms just watched its long-awaited reboot disappear in an instant – and it only took one social media post to bring it down.
ABC cancelled the Roseanne reboot Tuesday, March 29, based off a tweet from the title actress Roseanne Barr. The tweet referred to Valerie Jarrett, a former advisor to the Obama administration, as a product of “the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes.”
Understandably, the comment elicited a firestorm of controversy from social media followers and soon caught the attention of the network’s management. ABC Entertainment’s president Channing Dungey called the comment “abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values.” The Monday-night post was deleted soon after it was made and despite an apology being issued, the damage was done. ABC isn’t the only one who took issue with the tweet, as Barr’s talent agency, ICM Partners, also severed ties with her.
It’s an unfortunate turn of events for the network, at least from a ratings perspective, as the revival of the Roseanne sitcom was an unexpected hit. Despite questions about Barr’s character and her on-screen family’s characters being portrayed as Trump supporters, ratings soared. The show even garnered a considerable base of conservative fans, and some wondered if this was a large contributor to the success of the show.
Barr had gotten flack for previous posts, one of which called out George Soros who has been linked to globalist movements and potentially dangerous political agendas. As for Jarrett, being the target of the post didn’t seem to rattle her much. She took the high ground, saying she hoped it would be a learning experience and expressed worry only for those who didn’t have a circle of support to come to their defense.
It’s a drastic change in a short time period, as less than a month ago, Dungey’s boss, Ben Sherwood, joked about how a drinking game could be created at the presentation of programming advisers regarding how many times the show’s name was mentioned in the discussion.
It brought in about $45 million from advertisements alone since it began airing in March. Reruns could’ve brought even more money according to estimates, as could the 13 episodes that had already been ordered for next season.
Comedian Wanda Sykes reportedly quit the show even before the network dropped it, finding fault with Barr’s comments even as a close friend who was on the payroll. This could seem a bit hypocritical to some, as Sykes called President Donald Trump an orangutan during one appearance, only to be given her own show after.
There is hope the show could potentially be resurrected. Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing” made a return to Fox after being cancelled by ABC. The show was revived solely from fan support, though the case may be a bit different for Roseanne given the nature of her tweet. It just goes to show that everyone can be held accountable for their words regardless of their success.