Following the cancellation of “Roseanne” Tuesday after star Roseanne Barr apologized for a racist tweet, public opinion about ABC’s decision swung both ways.
Barr prompted the controversy early Tuesday when she invoked “The Planet of the Apes” and the Muslim Brotherhood to describe Valerie Jarrett, a former aide to President Obama. After ABC canned the upcoming second season of her show, Barr was also dropped by her talent agency, ICM Partners.
Bob Iger, the chief executive and chairman of Disney, tweeted ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey’s statement, adding his own seal of approval. (Disney owns ABC.)
High-profile TV producer Shonda Rhimes first thanked Dungey, then went on with a couple more tweets before retweeting actor Josh Gad.
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.
But honestly she got what she deserved. As I tell my 4 year old, one makes a choice with one’s actions. Roseanne made a choice. A racist one. ABC made a choice. A human one.— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) May 29, 2018
I truly hope that one day, the values that we hold our actors, producers, news casters, CEO’s, religious leaders, athletes, law enforcement, Military personnel, every day working class people, and sitcom stars to will be the same standard we hold our President to.— Josh Gad (@joshgad) May 29, 2018
I just heard #rosanne is cancelled. My reaction— tears. I am so relieved and grateful. The hate that has been spewing from those in Trump’s orbit has really taken a toll on all of our souls and psyches. I didn’t believe it would happen. I had lost faith. Thank you @abc .— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) May 29, 2018
What too many white people still won't admit is that Roseanne's racism is not exceptional. It's the rule. Pretending that she's some kind of white supremacist unicorn speaks to how out of touch with (racial) reality so many of you really are.— Crystal Marie Fleming (@alwaystheself) May 29, 2018
Meanwhile, others were supportive of Barr, who said Tuesday morning that she was leaving Twitter.
So Roseanne referencing a movie title is racist. Lying dishonest soulless freaks from Planet of the Apes— Ted Nugent (@TedNugent) May 29, 2018
Joy Reid gets a pass— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) May 29, 2018
Joy Behar gets a pass
Jimmy Kimmel gets a pass
Stephen Colbert gets a pass
George Soros gets a pass
So ABC/Disney fire Roseanne, but rehire Keith Olbermann? Okay.....— Mary #FlyTheW (@mchastain81) May 29, 2018
Merriam-Webster got in on the fun, too, with the dictionary explaining the definition of “abhorrent,” which had been used a few times to describe Barr’s remarks about Jarrett.
Kathy Griffin, in an unusually profanity-free thread — we’ll just post a couple of her thoughts — saw a broader picture, tying into #MeToo concerns and stating that ABC’s decision was not “some turning point.”
B) The reality is, ABC, like anyone with the ability to see, hear, and read, knew who Roseanne was when they gave her this show. They wanted to get a piece of Trump/conservative world business. So I'm not going to heap praise on Bob Iger or anyone else at the network— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) May 29, 2018
F) But the only way to solve this issue is through diversity in leadership. The same applies to the #MeToo issue - @shondarhimes is not going to sexually harass and rape her interns. Give @itsgabrielleu a production deal and you're not going to have to worry about crazy tweets— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) May 29, 2018
And Charlie Sheen, bidding good riddance to Barr, used the opportunity to pitch his own return to television
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3:55 p.m.: This article was updated with additional reactions.
This story was originally published at 2 p.m.