The Bigotry of Roseanne Barr and the Double Standard at ABC
ABC has cancelled the revival of its 80’s/90’s sitcom Roseanne, starring Roseanne Barr and John Goodman, after only one season. All of this despite the show having previously been renewed for another season after the success of the series premiere in which 18 million viewers watched.
However, unlike one controversial cancellation, this recent one is justified. The question is, why is that the case? Take a look at this reprehensible display of racial hatred in Barr’s recent tweet comparing former Obama official Valerie Jarrett to a love child between the Muslim Brotherhood and a character from 20th Century Fox’s Planet of the Apes film series:
Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj
As a result of the tweet, ABC made the swift decision to take the show off the air. Good. There’s no doubt about it, what Barr did was an amazing display of bigotry, and people from both sides of the spectrum have rightfully called out the tweet.
And as The Washington Post’s Gary Abernanthy points out, it will especially be disappointing due to the high ratings and the balanced political dialogue this new Roseanne had, which was able to please both Democrats and Republicans alike. That being said, this is what happens whenever you make decisions that do nothing but give the progressives more ammunition.
ABC obviously should have thought twice before doing the new season in the first place. They made the right call in firing Roseanne Barr, but in my estimation, they don’t go far enough.
If the network really cared about offensive and partisan comments, they never would have let ESPN re-hire Keith Olbermann for the second time, who has also done juvenile things on Twitter, especially making misogynistic comments. For example, back in 2012, she called liberal CNN contributor Kirsten Powers (who at the time was working for Fox News Channel) a “Stepford Blonde or Burnette.”
Want an example of what partisan things on-air personalities said on the network and never got penalized? Let’s begin with Jimmy Kimmel. Earlier this year, the far-left late night host featured a sketch viciously smearing Christianity. Hilarious, isn’t it?
Over on The View, co-host Joy Behar compared Vice President Mike Pence to someone with mental illness, and it took her days to apologize as NewsBusters’ Gabriel Hays points out. But, she’s still working there.
And using most, if not all, of her scripted primetime dramas to push a far-left agenda, as well as some of the most gratuitous moments on network television, didn’t get producer Shonda Rhimes in any hot water either (although it almost did).
So, with all of these factors combined, there’s no doubt that some offensive remarks are more equal than others at ABC. Of course, President Trump is blaming Disney CEO Bob Iger for this mess, but he doesn’t deserve the blame he’s getting.
This continuing double standard should instead be blamed directly on Disney-ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood and ABC Entertainment chief Channing Dungey. Both of which have totally destroyed that once-great division, and turned it into the most far-left outfit in the history of The Walt Disney Company.
Don’t get me wrong, Disney’s two animation houses in Burbank (Walt Disney Animation Studios) and Emeryville (Pixar) still do amazing work (largely due to the latter’s creative influence), and would definitely make Walt Disney himself proud if he were alive today. But, if there were one arm of the company that would make Mr. Disney roll in his grave, then Disney-ABC would indeed be that arm.
This point will be made again, ABC was right to fire Roseanne Barr for her bigoted Twitter post, but if the network is to be consistent, it has to make sure that any partisan or vulgar tweets coming from any liberal or conservative working there are forbidden as well. Political comments, right or left, are fine if you’re having private conversations with family or friends, or even loyal fans, but if you’re at work or on social media, all ideologies should be put aside.
Also, a good plan for Disney to stop the bleeding coming from its television arm should be (as pointed out before) to spin it off into an independent company once the 21st Century Fox acquisition is complete, and focus solely on theme park operations and film production and development. But once again, I guarantee that if a spinoff company with such operations such as ESPN, ABC, and Disney Channel did come into existence, it would go the same way Citadel Broadcasting went. Bankrupt.
As for Roseanne Barr, she has done a lot of damage to the conservative movement with her bigoted tweets. She should have known than to post something that stupid, and it just goes to show that just because social media can be an effective tool to reach out to fans, what you say on the internet can never be taken back.