The pride and joy of ABC’s upfront presentation to advertisers this month is apologizing for a racist tweet.
Roseanne Barr fired off a missive Tuesday morning that attacked President Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, who is African-American.
Barr used Jarrett’s initials and said “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby.” The actress was suggesting a connection between Jarrett and the Sunni Islamist organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood. Her Planet of the Apes reference was slammed as racist. Barr totally sidestepped the problem by replying “Muslims r NOT a race.”
Later the ABC prime-time star issued a full-fledged apology:
Avengers: Infinity War actor Don Cheadle shot back:
And here’s Boyhood actress Patricia Arquette:
The actress also declared she’s quitting Twitter (as if that’s the problem).
Some pointed out that Barr actually made a similar joke before, in 2013, about National Security Adviser Susan Rice:
Jarrett, who was born in Iran to American parents, served as a senior adviser for Obama from 2009 to 2017. Conspiracy theorists have falsely painted her as a closeted Muslim.
Barr recently finished the first season of her rebooted sitcom, which ranked as one of the most-watched shows of the TV season. Ironically, Barr’s joke comes after her show drew some degree of praise for an episode that had the Connors meeting their new Muslim neighbors.
ABC renewed the series for a second season which will debut this fall. During the network’s upfront presentation to advertisers earlier this month, executives repeatedly boasted about the show’s success and brought Barr on stage in New York to literally serenade advertisers with a rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”
We’re waiting to see what ABC will say — or do — about Barr’s tweet. Nothing so far.
UPDATE: Wanda Sykes has quit Roseanne.
UPDATE: ABC has canceled Roseanne (!).