ABC axes hit sitcom Roseanne over racist tweet row

ABC on Tuesday cancelled the popular US television comedy Roseanne after star Roseanne Barr sparked outrage by comparing a black former Obama administration official to an ape in a tweet.
US television sitcom star Roseanne Barr issued an apology to Valerie Jarrett after making a crude reference on Twitter to the African-American former senior advisor to president Barack Obama.
US television sitcom star Roseanne Barr issued an apology to Valerie Jarrett after making a crude reference on Twitter to the African-American former senior advisor to president Barack Obama.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - US television sitcom star Roseanne Barr apologised on Tuesday (May 29) for what she called a "bad joke" on Twitter that was widely decried as racist.

Barr issued the apology to Valerie Jarrett after making a crude reference on Twitter to the African-American former senior advisor to president Barack Obama.

"Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj," tweeted Barr, star of the newly revived ABC TV comedy Roseanne. After a barrage of criticism on social media, Barr deleted the tweet, apologised and then said she was leaving Twitter.

"I apologise to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans," Barr tweeted. "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." "I apologise. I am now leaving Twitter," she said.

US television network ABC announced on Tuesday it was cancelling the sitcom Roseanne.

"Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show," ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said in a statement.

Barr's 1988-97 hit show Roseanne returned to the air this year with her as a Trump-supporting character.

https://twitter.com/therealroseanne/status/1001471669641216005 https://twitter.com/therealroseanne/status/1001470384556752898

The show is a rare depiction of working-class life on US television and also of Trump supporters, who have been largely ignored by Hollywood.

 
 
 

Barr is also an outspoken backer of President Donald Trump in real life and frequently voices her support for him on Twitter.

The revival of Roseanne received good ratings and was recently renewed for a second season.

African-American comedian Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer on the show, announced Tuesday she would not be returning to the show.

Campaigns were also being launched on social media to pressure advertisers to drop their support of the show.