Now that the Roseanne revival series is dead in the water, the show's cast has taken to social media to try and do some damage control. This morning, after tweeting attacks on Chelsea Clinton, creator/star Roseanne Barr made a racist remark about Valerie Jarrett, a former aid to President Obama. Though Barr deleted the tweet and apologized, the damage had been done. Just as critics were petitioning its cancellation, ABC announced it was pulling the plug on Roseanne.
Barr, who has a long history of being outspoken and controversial, has been a vocal Trump supporter since the 2016 campaign. After ABC decided to bring back her sitcom, Barr made her on-screen character a Trump supporter, mirroring her real-life politics. While Barr had been regularly making headlines with her social media account, many felt her remark about Jarrett crossed a line.
Now that the dust is settling, some of the show's actors took to Twitter to share their thoughts. Sara Gilbert, who played Darlene, condemned Barr's comments about Jarrett. She then spoke about how the show itself was "separate... from the opinions of one cast member." Michael Fishman, who played DJ, echoed this sentiment. He talked about the show's desire for inclusivity, and called for a less-biased society overall.
You can see the tweets by Gilbert and Fishman below.
Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least.— sara gilbert (@THEsaragilbert) May 29, 2018
This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love— one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member.— sara gilbert (@THEsaragilbert) May 29, 2018
Even before the revival premiered earlier this year, it was met with controversy, largely regarding Barr's on-and-off-screen politics. Nonetheless, Roseanne proved a huge ratings draw for ABC, even if those numbers had started to wane in recent weeks. Roseanne's second season was already planning to tone down the politics and focus back on the day-to-day lives of the Connor family. In the meantime, Roseanne is getting its old episodes pulled from syndication on multiple networks. Hulu has also announced it's pulling all episodes from its streaming library.
Generally speaking, conservative characters aren't exactly abundant in the world of scripted TV. After the success of the Roseanne revival, FOX saw an opportunity. Wanting to tap into that same audience, they announced they'd be bringing Tim Allen's Last Man Standing back from the dead. Like Barr, Allen is an outspoken conservative and Trump supporter. He's even hinted that his politics were responsible for his show getting cancelled by ABC last year. That remark aside, Allen isn't nearly as prone to controversy as Barr. With Roseanne out of the picture, Allen and Last Man Standing could seek to fill the conservative-leaning sitcom void she'll be leaving behind.
Sources: Sara Gilbert, Michael Fishman