Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

This image released by ABC shows Roseanne Barr, left, and John Goodman in a scene from the comedy series "Roseanne."
Adam Rose/ABC/AP
Citizenship

ABC Cancels 'Roseanne' After Roseanne Barr's Racist Tweet

TV network ABC canceled its hit sitcom "Roseanne" on Tuesday in response to a racist tweet from the show’s lead actor and creator, Roseanne Barr.

On Tuesday morning, Barr replied to a tweet about Valerie Jarrett, a former Obama White House adviser. “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” she wrote, referring to Jarrett, who is black woman born in Iran to American parents.

Take Action: Help Reinvent Mindsets About Workplace Diversity Around the World

Barr initially tried to justify her tweet as a “joke.” “ISLAM is not a RACE, lefties. Islam includes EVERY RACE of people,” she later wrote, according to The New York Times, neglecting to elaborate on the “planet of the apes” comment.

Eventually, Barr apologized for the tweet, saying it was “in bad taste.” But hours later, ABC announced that it was canceling the show.

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

Fittingly, Dungey is the first black person to head a major network in the US. A 2016 report from University of California-Los Angeles on Hollywood diversity found that 96% of television and studio heads were white.

“Roseanne” first aired for nine seasons from 1988 to 1997. ABC rebooted the show this year in an effort to “appeal to viewers in the American heartland,” according to The New York Times.

Read More: London Mayor Sadiq Khan Reads Aloud Racist Tweets About Himself

This isn’t Barr’s first incident of Twitter bigotry — it wasn’t even her first attack of a black female White House official. She’s also been known to support conspiracy theories, stage elaborate and insensitive Holocaust jokes, associate with Holocaust deniers, and compare Islam to Nazism and pedophilia.

Jarrett, who happened to be a part of MSNBC's planned "Everyday Racism in America" town hall on Tuesday, responded to the tweet and the show's cancellation, saying, "I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment."

Global Citizen campaigns to achieve the UN’s Global Goals, including those calling for reduced inequalities. You can join us by taking action here.