The Future of Roseanne


Elena Naze, Contributor

ABC’s newest reboot, Roseanne, has been cancelled in response to a tweet by Roseanne Barr on March 28th.

The tweet, where Barr calls former adviser to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, a cross between “Muslim brotherhood and planet of the apes” went viral. Just hours later ABC announced that “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show”.

Following the cancellation of her show, Barr deleted the tweet and wrote an apology statement on Twitter, blaming the drug Ambien for her post. She claims that she is “not a racist, just an idiot”. Her apology tweet received backlash, including a tweet from the drug company that makes Ambien that states, “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”

Despite Barr’s claims that she was joking, and simply ‘Ambien tweeting’, she continued to be active on Twitter, where she retweeted racist posts, including side by side photos of Jarrett with apes.  She went on to say how ABC firing her “worked out,” as she was planning on leaving when they tried to “censor [her].”

Her Twitter then gained the attention of President Donald Trump, who tweeted, “Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that ‘ABC does not tolerate comments like those’ made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?” Despite Trump’s support of Barr, Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said that “no one’s defending what [Barr] said” when asked on Wednesday what Trump thought of the controversy.

So what’s next for the show? ABC rebooted the show as part of the “heartland strategy” to appeal to Middle America and the Trump voters. The show did surprisingly well with 18.2 million viewers tuning in to watch. The popularity of the show raises the question: Can Roseanne come back without Roseanne?

The simply answer is most likely not. However, executive producer Tom Werner, star Sara Gilbert, and EP Bruce Helford have been allegedly talking about moving forward with the show without Roseanne Barr. The biggest hurdle that could prevent a spin off from happening is that Barr holds financial interest in the show.

Despite this, the cast is furious with Barr for causing the show’s cancellation, as many of them are now out of a job or will no longer be on air. Two of the stars, John Goodman and Laurie Metcalfe, have been at the core of the public’s sympathy for the cast. Mindy Kaling tweeted at the stars on Wednesday saying “Laurie Metcalfe and John Goodman let me write things for you.” Lena Dunham also tweeted saying how she would write them a spin off “starring Darlene’s cool kids.”

Along with the celebrity support for the cast, fans of the show have been vocal about their support of a spin off. Many fans have started a movement to kill Roseanne off and rename the show The Conner Family.

Variety reported on speculation of executive meetings to be held this Friday about continuing with the show and while it’s not clear what the future of Roseanne and the Conner family is, we likely won’t get an answer until the fall TV schedules are announced.