Roseanne, the recently rebooted ABC show starring right-wing comedian Roseanne Barr, has been canceled by the network after Barr made a racist, conspiracist remark about Valerie Jarrett, one of President Obama’s closest advisers. (Jarrett has been a favorite target of conservative conspiracy-mongers since Obama was in office.)
@therealroseanne tweet now deleted and apology has been issued. Screenshot here so people can still see it. Hey @ABCNetwork when someone shows you how much of a racist they are, believe them the first 500 times pic.twitter.com/teZkRo3SGw— Mark M (@MarkDesigner) May 29, 2018
Following the instant backlash on Twitter, Barr deleted the offending tweet and said she was leaving the platform. She then tweeted an apology many found insufficient, including comedian Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer on Roseanne who announced she was leaving the show after Barr’s tweet.
Roseanne returned to the air after a 19-year hiatus to massive ratings. The first two episodes “drew [a] massive 17.7 million viewers and a 4.9 rating in adults 18-49,” while the second “rose even higher to 18.6 million viewers and a 5.3 in 18-49,” according to Deadline. Earlier this month, co-showrunner Whitney Cummings announced she’d be leaving the show, citing “work commitments and [her] tour schedule.” Bob Iger, CEO of ABC parent company Disney, seemed pleased with the network’s decision to cancel the show.
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."— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) May 29, 2018
There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.
Later on Tuesday afternoon, Variety reported that ICM Partners had dropped Roseanne as a client. “We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning,” ICM Partners wrote in a statement. “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.” Roseanne reruns have met the same fate, The Wrap reports; Viacom is pulling them from “its Paramount Network, TV Land and CMT channels” in response to the ongoing backlash against Barr.
Update May 29th, 3:10PM ET: Updated with ICM Partners dropping Roseanne Barr as a client.
Update May 29th, 5:31PM ET: Updated with news of Viacom pulling Roseanne reruns.