ABC Cancels Reboot of 'Roseanne' Over Star's Racist Tweet

Roseanne Barr speaks during SiriusXM's Town Hall with the cast of Roseanne on March 27, 2018 in New York City.  (Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

ABC canceled its hit reboot of Roseanne on Tuesday following star Roseanne Barr's racist tweet that referred to former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett as a product of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes.

ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said the comment "is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values." Barr had apologized and deleted her Monday-night tweet, calling it a "bad joke," but the damage had already been done.

The revival of the comedy was a surprise smash for ABC, owned by the Walt Disney Co., and was counted on to lead the network's fortunes next season. Its first new episode in March was seen by more than 25 million people, with delayed viewing counted in, numbers that are increasingly rare in network television.

It was particularly popular among many conservative viewers because Barr's character expressed support for President Donald Trump.

The Jarrett comment was one of a series of political tweets made by Barr. She criticized Democratic financier George Soros and tweeted that Chelsea Clinton was "Chelsea Soros Clinton," implying she was married to a nephew of Soros. Clinton herself corrected Barr online, and Donald Trump Jr. retweeted two of Barr's statements about Soros, although not the remark about Jarrett.

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Jarrett, who is black, was brought up in response to Twitter commentary that raised her name in relation to an Obama conspiracy theory. Barr tweeted: "muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj."

She later apologized "for making a bad joke" and announced she was leaving Twitter.

Dungey's statement canceling the show came after Wanda Sykes, consulting producer for "Roseanne," tweeted that she was leaving. Sara Gilbert, a co-star, also tweeted that the remark was abhorrent.

Following the news of the show's cancellation, Barr's agents, ICM Partners, announced they had dropped her as a client. In a statement Tuesday, ICM Partners said that Barr's tweet was "disgraceful," "unacceptable," and "antithetical to our core values," and that its relationship with Barr ended "effective immediately."

The Associated Press also contributed to this report.

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