Roseanne cancellation sparks controversy


Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Common License.

Prudence Nowicki, Staff Writer

ABC has canceled the revival of Roseanne after star Roseanne Barr made a racist comment on Twitter.

Last week Barr tweeted that former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett looked like an offspring of “Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes.” Shortly after Barr’s tweet, ABC Entertainment made a statement condemning the actress’s comment and stating that the show would be canceled.

Roseanne originally aired on ABC from 1988 to 1997 and focused on a typical working-class American family. The show was very popular among viewers and it was the most watched television show in the United States from 1989 to 1990.

Roseanne returned this March with a tenth season that featured the same cast tackling modern-day issues.

The show had immediately sparked political debate when both Barr and her character in Roseanne were Trump supporters. Some encouraged this development, while others were disappointed by the decision.

The firing of Barr further sparked debate.

Some consider Barr’s firing an example of a liberal double standard, since liberal MSNBC host Joy Reid had several offensive posts on a blog but has not been fired.

Barr’s firing also sparked more discussion about freedom of speech. When NFL players took a knee for the national anthem to take a stand, some said it was a just cause, while others considered it disrespectful and said they should be fired.

Similarly, some may argue that Barr has her right to her opinion and it should not affect her job, as well as the jobs of the rest of the cast and crew working on Roseanne. But others find her behavior rude and think that she deserves the consequences.

Despite the show’s great success ABC is firm in its decision to cancel the revival.

Barr was always known for her sarcastic and unfiltered sense of humor. Roseanne often addressed touchy issues while adding comical jokes to make light of the issues.

However, the show was never intentionally or unintentionally racist or offensive.

Fans of the show will be likely equally disappointed in the cancellation as well as Barr’s behavior.

It’s unfortunate to lose a comedic classic and a revival heading in a good direction to a cancellation because of such an issue, but ABC made the best decision they could to show they don’t support that behavior from their stars.