By Frederick H. Lowe and Susan M. Miller
Trump supporter and television star Roseanne Barr called former Obama presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett, ‘an ape,’ leading ABC to immediately cancel her show and her agent to drop her as a client.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” Tweeted Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment.
Barr wrote: “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” Barr tweeted, referring to Jarrett, who is black and originally from Iran. Jarrett was born in Iran to American parents.
Barr later apologized, saying it was a joke before removing her tweet.
But what she said outraged many.
“Disney suspended @jemelehill for speaking out against racism.@Disney canceled an episode of Black-ish for addressing racial injustice. But @Disney allows Roseanne Barr to keep her TV show despite hard-core racism like this,” @MikelJollett tweeted before ABC’s announcement which may spurred the network into dumping the show.
Charles M. Blow@CharlesMBlow, a New York Times columnist and author wrote, “I’m over being angry about racism. I’ve moved on to economic vengeance. If @ABCNetwork doesn’t respond appropriately to #Roseanne’s disgusting attack on @ValerieJarrett, they shouldn’t get another black viewer/dollar! Racism doesn’t hurt my feeling, but it WILL hurt your pockets!”
Blow also asked for a list of the show’s advertisers so they can be boycotted.
“Roseanne’s advertisers include Subway, Outback Steakhouse, Pepsi, Ashley Furniture Industries, Lyrica, Pfizer, Haribo, Samsung, and Microsoft. Additional advertisers reportedly include Mitsubishi, Intuit/Quickbooks, Verizon, Coke, and JCPenney, “tweeted Johnathan Ford @SignRealLiberal
Comedian Wanda Sykes, a writer on Roseanne’s show and an advisor, announced on Twitter that she would not be returning to the show following Barr’s comments.
Barr is not the first comedian to make racist comments to or about blacks.
In 2006, Michael Richards, who played Kramer in the hit television series “Seinfeld,” was performing at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood when some black audience members angered him.
Richards called them “niggers” and told them they are lucky they haven’t been lynched. He later apologized and claimed he wasn’t a racist.
ICM Partners, which has offices in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., also announced that it was dropping Barr as a client, Variety reported.
Barr made her comments on the same day Starbucks closed more of its 8,000 U.S. stores for anti-racial bias training resulting from the arrest of two black men waiting in a Philadelphia Starbucks.