There’s a kickarse woman to thank for the axeing of Roseanne.

Video via abc/youtube

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.

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The now-deleted racist tweet that led to Roseanne Barr's show being cancelled. Source: Twitter

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."

Not surprisingly, no one accepted her 'apology'. Almost immediately, ABC announced the show was cancelled. More specifically, the president of ABC, a woman named Channing Dungey, issued a scathing statement, calling Barr's behaviour "abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values."

And just like that, people started asking who exactly this hero woman Channing Dungey was:


Dungey isn’t new to the Disney-owned network. She joined ABC Studios in 2004. In 2009, she was ABC Entertainment Group’s drama chief and helped develop and launch numerous hit shows, including Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Once Upon a Time.

In 2016, Dungey made history when she became the black person - and black woman - to be head of a major television network. As president, Dungey was responsible for bringing back Roseanne, and hence its success as the most watched show on television when it debuted in March.

Considering the financial incentive, it would have been especially difficult for Dungey to make the call to cancel. And that just proves even more that she can woman-up when needed to.

Her move was met with significant applause on social media, led by prominent black actor Wanda Sykes:

Sara Gilbert, who played Darlene Conner on both versions of the show, also tweeted her support:

Anti-Trump celebrities such as Debra Messing were moved by Dungey's excellent decision:

The final word in celebration of Dungey's decision went to black comedian Travon Free, who posted this photo as a reminder of what black Americans think Barr represents:

I can't believe this woman had her show taken away!

A post shared by Travon Free (@travon) on

The rise and fall of Barr this year should be a lesson to all high-profile people that in 2018, the more successful you are, the more accountable you are to the public.

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