‘Roseanne’ Cast Members’ Reactions To The Show’s Cancellation Are Supportive Of ABC's Decision
On Tuesday, May 29, an offensive and racist tweet by Roseanne Bar led ABC to cancel the reboot of her sitcom, Roseanne. Social media has been buzzing with Roseanne-related comments and among them are several Roseanne cast members' reactions to the show's cancellation, including remarks by series cast members Sara Gilbert, Emma Kenney, and Michael Fishman. (Bustle reached out to Barr's rep about the Twitter backlash, as well as the cancellation, but did not receive an immediate response.)
Earlier Tuesday, May 29, Barr prompted backlash on social media with an offensive tweet about Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama's former advisor. The actor has since deleted the tweet and issued an apology:
I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. 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.
Later on Tuesday, ABC ultimately responded to the situation with the decision to cancel the revamped series altogether. ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey issued the following statement to Bustle, in which the network confirmed the show's cancellation:
"Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show."
In response to Barr's tweet and the show's cancellation, Gilbert's comments fall pretty closely in line with those of the network itself:
"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."
Closing the first of two eventual tweets, Gilbert's thoughts on her former co-star's behavior were very clear. "I am disappointed in her actions to say the least," Gilbert wrote.
In an immediate follow-up tweet, Gilbert shed a bit more light on how her fellow Roseanne cast and crew members are handling the news, explaining that the situation "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." For those who need a refresher, Gilbert's Roseanne character has been an integral part of the Conner family since the show's inaugural run in the '80s and, according to Deadline's recent report, was a leading proponent in the series' revamp process.
In her second tweet, the veteran Roseanne actor re-emphasized that Barr's opinions are in no way reflective of those held by the rest of the series' cast and crew. In writing about the merits of Roseanne as a television series, Gilbert closed her string of tweets with a final remark to seemingly distance Barr's comments from the reputation of the show itself. To that end, Gilbert insisted once again that Roseanne's success and popularity among viewers "is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member."
Another veteran Roseanne actor, Fishman, shared similar sentiments in his reaction to the Roseanne cancellation. The actor who plays D.J. Conner on the series, said on Twitter that while Tuesday might be one of the hardest days of his life, he's mostly shaken by Barr's behavior. "I condemn these statements vehemently," he wrote. "They are reprehensible and intolerable, contradicting my beliefs and outlook on life and society."
A relative newcomer to the series, Kenney played Darlene's daughter Harris Conner-Healy on the reboot and the actor took to Twitter soon after ABC's cancellation announcement to say that she was ready to call it quits on Roseanne as soon as she learned of Barr's comments. "As I called my manager to quit working on Roseanne, I was told it was cancelled," the actor wrote via Twitter, adding that she feels "so empowered" by Sykes and ABC, lauding them for "standing up for morals and abuse of power."
While the Roseanne cast and crew can't undo the backlash caused by Barr's tweet, they can make sure the internet knows that her tweet did not speak for all of them.