By Sarah Toy
The rebooted show “Roseanne” was canceled Tuesday afternoon, according to ABC Entertainment, hours after the show’s star Roseanne Barr posted a racist tweet.
“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, in a statement.
Barr, a vocal Trump supporter, attacked a Valerie Jarrett, a former White House adviser to former President Barack Obama and a longtime Obama confidante, on Tuesday morning in a since-deleted tweet, writing: “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” The tweet was in response to a conspiracy-laden Twitter thread accusing Jarrett of helping to cover up CIA spying.
The backlash was swift, with many calling her tweet racist.
Later in the morning, “Roseanne” consulting producer Wanda Sykes had announced she would be leaving the show. Cast member Emma Kenney said she was “hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed. The racist and distasteful comments from Roseanne are inexcusable.”
Barr’s talent agency, ICM Partners, said it has dropped her as a client.
“We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning,” ICM Partners said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”
Barr deleted her tweet and apologized for it, saying that it had been in “bad taste” and that she was “truly sorry for making a bad joke” about Jarrett’s politics and appearance. She also said she would be leaving Twitter /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR +1.68% , though it was not clear if she meant she would be leaving permanently.
Jarrett, who is African-American and was born in Iran, was one of Obama’s longest-serving advisers. She has no known ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Late Tuesday, Viacom said “Roseanne” reruns would no longer air on its cable networks.
Tuesday night, Barr returned to Twitter, retweeting a number of supportive messages and conspiracy theories, and apologizing to the cast and crew “who lost their jobs on my show due to my stupid tweet.”
Earlier Tuesday morning, Barr had appeared to add her voice to the disproved conspiracy theory that Chelsea Clinton is married to a nephew of billionaire investor George Soros, a major Democratic donor, tweeting: “Chelsea Soros Clinton.”
Barr later tweeted an apology after Chelsea Clinton, who is married to investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, refuted those claims. But she continued to attack Soros.
Both of those Barr posts were retweeted by Donald Trump Jr.’s Twitter account.
Barr has a history of making false, misleading claims on Twitter. In March, she accused Parkland, Fla., school shooting survivor David Hogg of performing a Nazi salute. She later deleted the tweet, saying the image she had seen of Hogg was doctored and she had been mistaken.
She also tweeted her support of a conspiracy theory that alleges the involvement of high-profile Democrats and other famous individuals in child sex-trafficking rings, writing: “President Trump has freed so many children held in bondage to pimps all over this world. Hundreds each month. He has broken up trafficking rings in high places everywhere. notice that. I disagree on some things, but give him benefit of doubt-4 now.” That tweet was also later deleted.
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With its March premiere drawing over 18 million viewers, the rebooted “Roseanne” has been a hit for ABC, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co. /zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite DIS -1.71% . At the same time, though, there were growing calls over the past few months for Disney and ABC to address the star’s behavior.
Disney shares were down 1% on Thursday, and are down about 8% thus far in 2018, while the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.69% has gained1.5% on the year, and the Dow industrials /zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite DIS -1.71% , with Disney among its 30 components, is off 1.0%.