NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – ABC on Tuesday canceled its hit reboot of “Roseanne” following Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet about former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.
ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said the comment “is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel the show.”
The “Roseanne” revival this spring was an unexpected major hit for ABC. It was particularly popular among many conservative viewers because Barr’s character expressed support for President Donald Trump.
Barr’s tweet, which has since been deleted, suggested that Jarrett is a product of the Muslim brotherhood and the “Planet of the Apes.” She was responding to another tweet about a conspiracy theory involving the Obama administration, in which Jarrett was not mentioned.
Actress Sara Gilbert, who also appears on CBS’s “The Talk,” tweeted saying, the incident was “sad and difficult for all of us.”
“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,” she wrote.
Fellow castmate Michael Fishman called Barr’s tweets “reprehensible and intolerable.”
Comedian Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer on the show, tweeted, “I will not be returning to @RoseanneOnABC.”
“Roseanne Barr’s comments were appalling and reminiscent of horrific time in our history when racism was not only acceptable but promoted by Hollywood,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “We applaud ABC for taking a stand against racism by canceling Roseanne today. We commend the network and its president Channing Dungey for placing the values of diversity, inclusion and respect for humanity above ratings.”
The offending tweet came after a series of others posted Monday night. They’re now deleted but one falsely claimed Chelsea Clinton is married to George Soros’ nephew. Another repeated the rumor that the billionaire is a Nazi sympathizer. Barr apologized for those, as well.
“It was offensive,” Huffington Post Managing Editor of Culture Lauren Moraski said. “A lot of big names came out against her and I think ABC did not want to roll the dice on this one.”
During a previously scheduled town hall discussion on racism which aired late Tuesday on MSNBC, Jarrett addressed Barr’s rant.
“I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment,” Jarrett said. “I’m worried about all the people who don’t have a circle of friends and followers who come right to their defense.”
Barr initially defended herself, but as backlash grew, she later apologized “for making a bad joke.” For her colleagues, the damage had already been done. Barr’s talent agency also dropped her as a client, with three networks pulling reruns of “Roseanne.”
Barr eventually apologized for her entire tweetstorm, and announced that she would be leaving Twitter. Hours later, she returned once more to say she was sorry and give a hint to her future plans.
“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,” she said.
Barr also claimed she will appear on comedian Joe Rogan’s popular podcast on Friday.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)