The news of the week in the entertainment world has been the cancellation of the Roseanne reboot, following Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet comparing Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama, to an ape. Many people took offense to this as Ms. Jarrett is African-American. After backlash from the public, ABC and its parent company, Disney decided to pull the plug on the show just as its crew had returned to begin working on the next season. Comedian Wanda Sykes, (pictured in the feature image) who had been a consulting producer for the show, departed before the cancellation was announced. Now, people on the political right are calling for Samantha Bee’s Comedy Central show, Full Frontal, be canceled after Bee called First Daughter, Ivanka Trump a “feckless c**t” on a recent episode.
Here’s my take on the Roseanne tweet, her cancellation, and Samantha Bee’s comment.
I will first, however, say that I am sad to see the Roseanne reboot, canceled. I grew up watching the show’s first run and was really enjoying the reboot. The Connors represented a lot of Americans as a middle-class family struggling to get by. This was and is the majority of American families, including mine, growing up. Heck, I’m still clawing my way to being where I want to be. People could relate and that’s why the show was so popular. It was a show about the everyday American, not the minority wealthy which most shows today depict. However; one poor choice or irresponsible comment can sink a show, despite its ratings.
ABC knew what they were getting into when they decided to bring Roseanne back to TV. Barr has a history of making offensive comments and gestures. One example that has always stuck in my mind was the gimmick she did in 2009. Dressed as Hitler, she removed “Jew Cookies” from an oven. Even though it was for the Jewish focused magazine “Heeb”, a lot of people understandably took offense.
USA Today compiled a list of Barr’s most offensive Tweets over the years, including one which she claimed that Hillary Clinton and her former campaign chair, John Podesta were running a human-trafficking ring out of a Washington pizzeria, among other conspiracy theories relating to the Democratic Party. The list is here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2018/05/29/roseanne-barr-offensive-tweeting-actually-nothing-new/652292002/
Barr has never kept her extreme right-wing ideology a secret. She’s openly a Trump supporter and many on the right have attacked ABC/Disney claiming that they canceled her show for that reason alone. ABC knew her political stance and still gave her a show, so her support of Trump or anybody else has nothing to do with her being kicked off of the air. Disney has a brand that they feel that they need to protect and they made the decision they felt was best to do just that. I personally don’t think that the show should have been canceled but that’s not my call to make. Barr should have been more responsible when sharing on a platform for the whole world to see.
Now onto Samantha Bee who also has a history of making offensive remarks, especially on her show, Full Frontal which is a ratings monster for Comedy Central. Bee has long said vulgar and offensive things about those on the right, so her recent remarks should come as no surprise. Should she be canceled? No. I don’t think so, not until you cancel every right-wing, and left-wing TV and radio show that may be deemed offensive, Mark Levin, and Micheal Savage come to mind. The same people on the right who are supporting Roseanne, are calling for Bee’s head and vice versa.
The only thing we can take away from this is that there is a political double standard in this country. When a person is an open supporter of one side of the political aisle and says or does something that is outrageously offensive or vulgar, which the president does on almost a daily basis, the people from the same side will come out in armies to defend them and back them up. When somebody on the other side does the same thing, they want to attack them and snub them out of existence. The Roseanne and Bee hype is just that, two sides which have divided a country so much, that we fight and bicker over every little thing and fail to see the hypocrisy in our ways.
I’m not defending Barr’s comments about Valerie Jarret, they were wrong and vulgar. I’m not defending Bee’s comment about Ivanka Trump. The C-word is about the worst thing you can call a woman. I am also not defending the people who want to destroy one person for doing something while supporting someone who has done the exact same thing, celebrity or not. The Barr and Bee remarks are just one more thing to further divide an already heavily divided country. Until both sides agree to the same punishment or cancellation or whatever the case may be for the same behavior, then we shouldn’t be calling people out.