Responding to a racially charged Twitter post by star Roseanne Barr comparing former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape, ABC Tuesday canceled Barr’s successful comedy series reboot “Roseanne.”
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” said Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment.
During a series of Twitter posts Tuesday morning, Barr responded to a comment about Jarrett — one of President Obama’s longest-serving and most trusted advisers — by writing, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”
An uproar of criticism quickly followed, and Barr deleted the post and apologized, then said she would be leaving Twitter.
“I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans,” Barr wrote. “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. I apologize. I am now leaving Twitter.”
Shortly after 8 p.m. Barr tweeted, “Don’t feel sorry for me, guys!!-I just want to apologize to the hundreds of people, and wonderful writers (all liberal) and talented actors who lost their jobs on my show due to my stupid tweet.”
Barr went on to promote an appearance on the podcast hosted by comedian Joe Rogan on Friday.
Robert Iger, CEO and chairman of The Walt Disney Co., ABC’s parent company, said he supported the cancellation of “Roseanne.”
“There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing,” Iger wrote on Twitter.
Barr was also dropped by her talent agency, ICM Partners, which circulated a memo to its staff confirming the move.
“We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning,” according to the memo. “What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency. Consequently, we have notified her that we will not represent her. Effective immediately, Roseanne Barr is no longer a client.”
Prior to ABC’s cancellation announcement, comedian/actress Wanda Sykes, who was a consulting producer on Barr’s sitcom, announced earlier she “will not be returning” to the series in light of Barr’s comment.
Series co-star Sara Gilbert, also an executive producer of the series, also responded angrily to Barr’s post, writing, “Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least. This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love — one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member.”
Barr also directed critical posts at Chelsea Clinton Tuesday morning, saying her middle name was “Soros” by claiming Clinton is married to a nephew of George Soros. She is not.
Barr apologized for that post, after Clinton herself responded, but suggested in another post she is actually married to the “son of a corrupt senator.”
Barr also took aim at Soros, a billionaire philanthropist and major donor and backer of liberal causes, referring to him as a “nazi.”
The popular “Roseanne” reboot series recently wrapped up its first season as one of television’s most-watched shows.
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