Roseanne Barr has been on thin ice ever since the 2018 reboot of her iconic television show premiered barely a month ago. And now that ice has finally broken.
The actor and the show have received considerable backlash to their pro-Trump stance – a position which many believed is no laughing matter – and thus not a great premise for a sit com.
Of course, Barr made her name for being an opinionated woman, and a feminist. When her show first aired in 1988, she was a trailblazer. She was one of the first female comics to get her own show. She was outspoken about racism and social justice. There were story lines dedicated to domestic violence, alcoholism and financial struggles, all largely taboo at the time.
All of which makes what’s happened this week so disappointing.
But it was also a long time coming. Because merely being a Trump-supporter in itself wasn’t the reboot’s biggest burden to overcome; what it really needed to do to succeed was minimise the off-screen impact of Barr, who had recently revealed herself on Twitter to be a staunch conspiracy theorist.
For example, on March 31, Barr tweeted: “Trump has freed so many children held in bondage to pimps all over the world….he has broken up trafficking rings…notice that…give him benefit of the doubt.”
But this week, Barr’s Twittering irrevocably crossed a line, which proved the final straw for the ABC television network.
Barr tweeted an appallingly racist comment about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett looking like the offspring of the “Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes.” Jarrett, an African-American, was born in Iran to American parents.
The actor apologised for the tweet after receiving a negative response, claiming the likening of a human being to an ape, based on their skin colour, was merely a "bad joke" that was made in "bad taste."