ABC cancels ‘Roseanne’ after star’s vitriolic and racist Twitter rampage

After targeting Chelsea Clinton, George Soros and Valerie Jarrett, the comedian retreated: "I am now leaving Twitter," she said.
Roseanne Barr in "Roseanne."
Roseanne Barr in "Roseanne."

ABC announced Tuesday that it has canceled “Roseanne” after the show’s star, Roseanne Barr, went on a vitriolic Twitter rampage Monday.

“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” the network said in a statement released just hours after the comedian’s offensive social media rant.

Barr’s Twitter rant included spewing false conspiracy theories, going after former first daughter Chelsea Clinton and attacking a former adviser to President Barack Obama with what many perceived to be a racist insult.

After intense backlash and calls for ABC to fire the comedian and cancel her show, Barr issued a blanket apology and said she was giving up the social media platform. “I apologize. I am now leaving Twitter,” she wrote, hours after the tweetstorm began.

The mea culpa was apparently not enough for comedian Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer for Barr’s show. “I will not be returning to @RoseanneOnABC,” Sykes wrote shortly after the online tirade ended.

The social-media rant wasn’t exactly a surprise performance by Barr, who regularly delights supporters of President Donald Trump with her retweets of conservative memes and stories. She has trucked in conservative conspiracies before, though she deleted most of her old tweets once it was announced that her show “Roseanne” was coming back on the air after a 21-year hiatus.

But even by her own standards, the Monday morning tweets were particularly vitriolic. She started by spreading the false rumor (which apparently Scott Baio believes, too) that Chelsea Clinton was married to the nephew of billionaire liberal Democratic donor George Soros, who is a lightning rod for false conservative theories.

Clinton responded in her usual M.O. when dealing with social-media weirdness: a clapback cloaked in sweetness. “Good morning Roseanne – my given middle name is Victoria,” she wrote. “I imagine George Soros’s nephews are lovely people. I’m just not married to one. I am grateful for the important work @OpenSociety (Soros’s organization) does in the world. Have a great day!”

Barr later corrected herself, but added another insult. “CORRECTION: CHELSEA CLINTON IS NOT MARRIED TO A SOROS NEPHEW. HER HUSBAND IS THE SON OF A CORRUPT SENATOR, SO SORRY!” the comedian tweeted. (Fact check: Clinton’s father-in-law was convicted of financial fraud, but he was a member of the House, not the Senate.)

Clinton wasn’t Barr’s only target, though – she had more to say about Soros, whom she accused of wanting to “overthrow … (U.S.) constitutional republic.”

And she called on Americans to “unite against” a CIA mind-control program, for good measure.

In what might have been her most offensive missive (though it was a tough contest), she appeared to take aim at former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, identifying her by her initials: “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” she wrote, though she later claimed it was “a joke.” After more intense criticism directed to her and ABC, she issued a fuller apology. “I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans,” she wrote. “I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me – my joke was in bad taste.”

Barr has tweeted in the past about “Pedogate,” the term for conspiracy theories that accuse people (usually Trump opponents) of being part of a secret ring of pedophiles, and Pizzagate (the most famous of those theories). She also tweeted last year about Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee staffer who was shot in Washington, echoing a conservative theory that his death was covered up by the Clintons. “THE FIX IS IN!” Barr tweeted at the time.

“Roseanne,” in which Barr plays the Trump-loving matriarch of a blue-collar family, was just renewed for a second season on ABC. A representative for the network did not immediately respond to a request for comment on their star’s recent tweets.

As for whether Barr will actually stick to her promise to stay off Twitter? It’s unclear: She last quit the platform … 10 days ago.


Categories: Entertainment, News

Leave a Reply