'Roseanne' Canceled for 'Abhorrent, Repugnant' Racist Tweet, ABC Says

ABC canceled Roseanne on Tuesday after the sitcom's lead star, Roseanne Barr, made a racist comment comparing former Obama-era aide Valerie Jarrett to an ape.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said: "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show."

Dungey's statement came shortly after Barr received a wave of criticism over the tweet, with dozens of people on social media calling for ABC to cancel the series in regards to her statement. Others threatened to boycott the show if ABC remained silent.

ABC is the parent company that uncomfortable with Jemele Hill's critique of this current administration. But they hopped right into bed with Roseanne.

Much like the NFL, ABC has picked a side and it's loud and clear.

— M’BlockU (@rodimusprime) May 29, 2018

Disney suspended @jemelehill for speaking out against racism.@Disney canceled an episode of Black-ish for addressing racial injustice.

But @Disney allows @therealroseanne to keep her TV show despite hard-core racism from racist pigs like Roseanne.


— Mitchell Gore (@lestatdelc) May 29, 2018

Not surprised at all Roseanne Barr, comparing Valerie Jarrett, a black woman, to an ape. She also called Susan Rice, a black woman, to an ape back in 2013 & stated it was a bad joke. ABC needs to cancel #Roseanne her vile behaviour is sickening. pic.twitter.com/cvgMefbiJo

— Shuj' (@ChocMilkSheikh) May 29, 2018

Barr referred to Jarrett as a primate in response to a tweet that claimed President Barack Obama's former Director of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, who is a black woman, had kept a number of Obama's secrets. "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj," Barr wrote in a tweet that has since been deleted.

Following the instant backlash, Barr apologized for the tweet and said she would be "leaving" Twitter. "I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. 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," she wrote.

Along with the massive number of people condemning Barr's tweet, Wanda Sykes, the show's head writer, announced she would not return to Roseanne in light of her statement, despite the fact that the show had already been renewed for season two. Sara Gilbert, who plays Barr's on-screen daughter, also admonished the comedian for her racist comments while maintaining that the cast and crew did not subscribe to Barr's hateful rhetoric.

"Roseanne's recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions, to say the least," Gilbert tweeted. "This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as 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."

ICM Partners, the talent agency that repped Barr, dropped her as a client on Tuesday as well. "We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning," the group said 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. Effective immediately, Roseanne Barr is no longer a client."

The Roseanne revival debuted on the network with stellar ratings back in March. Although the ratings varied from week to week following the premiere, the show continued to average about 10.3 million viewers within the 18-49 demographic well into its final episode on May 23.

Cancel the show. @therealroseanne is a #racist and has no right to be on television.

— Sophie Z Carmichael (@sithy53) May 29, 2018

@sarahgilbert01 @ABCNetwork not good enough! @therealroseanne has to go. Sorry for the other cast members, but when you lie down with dogs you get fleas!

— petoe and luda (@MsPeachesLundy) May 29, 2018

This story has been updated to include Barr's firing as a client from talent agency ICM Partners.