If one thing is for certain, racism has no place in entertainment in the age of the Internet.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” Channing Dungey, ABC Entertainment president, announced in a statement released by Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, Robert Iger on Twitter this afternoon.
From Channing Dungey, President of ABC Entertainment: "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show."
There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) May 29, 2018
Following her Twitter rant, Roseanne’s talent agency ICM Partners dropped her as a client, according to a report by Variety.
“What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency,” ICM said in a statement. “Consequently, we have notified her that we will not represent her. Effective immediately, Roseanne Barr is no longer a client.”
The apparent shunning and cancellation of Roseanne is a marked shift in the way big entertainment businesses and talent agencies, like ABC and ICM, are treating racism within the current climate—there’s still progress to be made, but racial slurs are no longer tolerated on a mass level, as we saw last week at the Kendrick Lamar concert.
Roseanne was doing extremely well ratings-wise when it aired a few months back. Roseanne was the goose that laid the golden egg for ABC, with almost 18 million views on the renewed show’s first episode. President Trump even called to congratulate the actress on the accomplishment. The second season had already been underway, with a prime Tuesday evening time slot on ABC.
This all came crashing down when Roseanne proceeded to hypothesize conspiracy theories about Valerie Jarrett, Chelsea Clinton, and George Soros, on Twitter this afternoon. She cited a debunked theory that Chelsea was “married to the Soros nephew.” She also claimed Valerie Jarrett, who is an attorney, businesswoman, and famously a senior adviser to President Obama, is a product of “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes.”
— John Aravosis (@aravosis) May 29, 2018
Despite all of her unhinged public statements and tweets, this one in particular struck a nerve. Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer on the show, announced that she would not be returning to the show for the second season. Other cast members stood together in solidarity, refusing to continue with the show after her racist statements surfaced. People on Twitter were done with Roseanne and her dated views.
ABC kept quiet about the incident for several hours before announcing that they would be cancelling Roseanne this afternoon—the news came as a huge shock, but ABC’s decision to choose humanity over money spoke volumes today.