“It’s always a ‘joke’ after the backlash.”
“Sometimes SORRY just doesn’t cut it.”
The fallout has been swift and severe for Roseanne Barr’s racist comment on Twitter. The “Roseanne” reboot has been canceled, the scandal has dominated the news for days, and fans remain outraged. That includes thousands of Yahoo commenters.
What’s truly disturbing when you get down to it is, the Valerie Jarrett’s, the Michelle Obama’s, the Serena Williams’ of the world; these are the women we want our daughters to emulate. Yet we’re also living in a world where we have to then explain to them why they’re denigrated.
— Cyrus McQueen (@CyrusMMcQueen) May 31, 2018
To take us back to the beginning: On May 28, in a now-deleted post, the comedian referred to Valerie Jarret, a former adviser to President Barack Obama as the “offspring of the Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes.’” Facing immediate backlash, Barr apologized, saying: “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.” But it was too little too late.
Thousands of Yahoo readers have been expressing their outrage, including one who wrote: “She just crossed the line again. I’M DONE.” Another commenter said, “Is anyone really surprised that Roseanne said something offensive?” And another added: “No one threw Roseanne under the bus but Roseanne.” Barr, 65, has maintained that she did not know that Jarrett, 61, is black when she compared her to an ape.
The Roseanne podcast is not happening today. She’s not doing well and doesn’t want to travel, and she’s gone radio silent on me, so I’m just going to step away. The whole thing has been pretty brutal on her, and I hope she can find some peace.
— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) June 1, 2018
One of the first signs of serious trouble came when Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer on the ABC sitcom, quit in protest. Co-star and co-producer Sara Gilbert quickly condemned the comments. And then, on May 29, the network lowered the boom: “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” said ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey.
Barr blamed the sleep medicine Ambien for her outburst. “It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting,” she posted. “I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but … don’t defend it please.”
In the wake of the show’s cancellation, the controversy has featured a diverse cast of characters. Barr’s ex-husband and onetime “Roseanne” writer Tom Arnold said he always had a bad feeling about the TV series reboot. (“I knew it would not end well.”) Jimmy Kimmel riled some fans with a measured show of support: “The Roseanne I know could probably use some compassion.” Barr’s son Jake Pentland has also come to his mother’s defense, saying: “It’s insensitive, we get it. … Me and Mom are completely out of touch, that we would think that it’s okay for a white person to call a non-white person and compare them to a monkey. Like, you got it. You won. You took the show off. She’s apologized. It’s over. War’s over.”
On Thursday, Barr sent a series of tweets, which have now been deleted, begging ABC to save her show. “I begged Ben Sherwood at ABC 2 let me apologize & make amends,” Barr tweeted. “I begged 4 my crews jobs. Will I ever recover from this pain? omg.”
I'm not a racist, I never was & I never will be. One stupid joke in a lifetime of fighting 4 civil rights 4 all minorities, against networks, studios, at the expense of my nervous system/family/wealth will NEVER b taken from me.
— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 30, 2018