The instantaneous backlash to Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett is continuing, as reruns of the original nine seasons have been pulled from syndication by multiple Viacom owned stations, starting Wednesday.
It has been a particularly bad day for Barr, as Roseanne was unceremoniously cancelled by ABC earlier Tuesday after a string of tweets from the series' creator, star, writer and executive producer. Taking to Twitter, Barr attacked Jarrett - a former White House senior advisor under President Obama - writing in a since-deleted tweet “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj” in reference to her. Condemnation for the tweet was swift, with many on social media appealing to ABC’s twitter to cancel Barr’s series. ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey did just that responding, “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”
As reported by THR, tomorrow will see the show removed from all of Viacom’s networks, including the Paramount Network, TV Land, and CMT. In a separate move, Laff, a digital network, has also announced that they will stop stop syndicating the show. Despite the shows removal from syndication and cable reruns, Amazon is still currently streaming all nine original seasons. For its part, Hulu has concurred with Viacom's decision, and already removed all season 10 episodes from its service.
While Barr did initally attempt to apologize for the tweet, writing, “I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans”, it was too little too late. Dungey’s decision was supported by parent company Walt Disney with chairman and CEO Bob Iger tweeting out, “There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.” The cancellation has been widely celebrated across social media, but leaves ABC without it’s biggest hit. In addition to the cancellation, ABC has also canceled season 10's planned Emmy campaign.
Viacom, Laff, and Hulu's decision to remove Roseanne echoes the previous removal from TV of The Cosby Show reruns, following creator and star Bill Cosby being accused of rape by multiple women. Still, ABC’s cancellation of season 11 remains somewhat surprising, considering just how successful Roseanne's relaunch has been for the network. ABC had also shown a past willingness to overlook Barr’s often incendiary social media posts, including several that promoted widely debunked conspiracy theories. It’ll be interesting to see if Roseanne ever returns to syndication, but if not, dedicated fans of the show will always have their DVDs.
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