May 29, 2018
Years ago, the predecessor to Media Play News (Home Media Magazine) interviewed Roseanne Barr regarding a pending DVD release. Barr, who was long past the original “Roseanne” TV show at the time, was charming, witty (“I’m only talking to you for the money”) and bored.
“I sit around the house and watch a lot of TV,” she chuckled. “I like ‘Nancy Grace.’”
Unfortunately for Barr, boredom these days apparently includes wading into the social media abyss — and leaving common sense to others.
Which is what happened to the former standup comic this morning, resulting in a tirade of offensive tweets, including a racist post about a former Obama Administration official. All that was missing was a noose.
Not even Nancy Grace could (or would) save Barr from the swift blowback in the media and on social media condemning her comments. Comic Wanda Sykes, a writer on the “Roseanne” reboot on ABC quickly quit the show in protest.
Barr apologized for her tweets, adding she would be leaving Twitter for good.
Of course, no one should really be surprised considering Barr’s questionable public statements in the past, unrepentant support of President Trump, who launched his campaign on the back of bigotry, and politically incorrect tone in the new “Roseanne” show.
Barr’s comments are protected under the First Amendment, not unlike the Second Amendment affording gun rights to individuals who should never have access to a firearm.
Indeed, Harris Faulkner, a black female host on Fox News, defended Barr.
“I don’t understand it to be anything other than free speech,” Faulkner said.
Yes, but free speech is a slippery slope. Just because you can spout bigoted thoughts, doesn’t mean you should. Especially when you are in the public eye — and advertisers are footing the bill.
ABC wisely canceled “Roseanne,” despite the show’s top ratings in a media landscape under siege by over-the-top video.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” Channing Dungey, entertainment chief at ABC, said in a statement.
Barr’s agent, ICM Partners, agreed, dumping her as a client.
“We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning,” ICM said in a statement, as reported by The Wrap. “What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency.”
Paramount Network, TV Land, CMT and Hulu dropped airing/streaming “Roseanne” re-runs. The show is still available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
And thus, in a matter of hours, Barr went from TV’s biggest comeback story to social outcast, joining “Seinfeld” legend Michael Richards (Kramer) – whose 2006 racist outburst during a standup gig sent the actor’s career into extinction.
Maybe, Barr should start watching “Dr. Phil.”