Will the actress face professional consequences for comparing a black woman to an ape on Twitter? Probably not
UPDATE: May 29, 2018, 1:56 p.m. EDT Shortly after publishing this post, ABC announced that Roseanne has been canceled.
Roseanne Barr went on an exceedingly racist tirade this morning, even for her.
On Tuesday morning, Barr said this of President Obama’s former black female advisor Valerie Jarrett: “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” Barr’s tweet caused understandable outrage on social media, eventually prompting the actress to quit Twitter. Wanda Sykes also resigned from her role as consulting producer on Roseanne.
The actress has since apologized in a tweet: “I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans,” Barr tweeted. “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.”
This wasn’t Barr’s only offensive tweet this morning. Barr also claimed that philanthropist and billionaire George Soros was a Nazi, a conspiracy theory that’s been debunked by Snopes.com and anyone who has a passing familiarity with reality.
In the past, Roseanne has also claimed that a Parkland shooting survivor gave a Nazi salute (he did not) and helped to spread the Pizzagate conspiracy.
“You can’t control Roseanne Barr,” Ben Sherwood, the president of Walt Disney Company (which owns ABC) told the New York Times in March about . “Many who have tried have failed. She’s the one and only.”
ABC has yet to release a public statement on this particular issue.
The show was renewed for a second season after it received jaw-dropping ratings for its first two episodes. Those ratings have since declined.
It’s unclear what the fate of the show will be after this morning’s turmoil. Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer on the show, announced that she wouldn’t be returning shortly after Roseanne posted the tweets. Comedian and writer Whitney Cummings had already said she planned to leave the show as well, unrelated to Barr’s latest tirade.
Actress Sara Gilbert expressed her disapproval on Twitter:
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.