Am I Next? No love at Disney/ABC for Roseanne Barr


What have we learned from Disney’s cancellation of comic Roseanne Barr’s show, the reboot of the iconic "Roseanne,” after Barr’s allegedly “racist tweet?”

Am I Next? Roseanne Barr's allegedly racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett

It appears that Barr's tweet, targeted at one of the most powerful women in former President Barack Obama's Administration, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, was supposed to be an example of snarky right-wing humor -- possibly to advance the media coverage of the star and bring new attention and viewers to the show. Since Jarrett is African-American, outrage and condemnation were swift. 

From Robert Iger, Chairman, and CEO of Disney ...  

Am I Next? Bob Iger's Tweet   

1.   Your job, be it CEO, star entertainer, or the lowliest production crew member, can suddenly evaporate over an intemperate remark that inflames the public or the media.   

2.   No matter how many people claim that it is a free speech issue involving the Constitution’s First Amendment, the matter does not involve the government’s suppression of speech, so it is clearly not a First Amendment issue. Disney, the parent company of ABC where the Roseanne program is aired is a private corporation and its employees can be contractually terminated for offensive acts which bring disrepute to the corporation or disadvantage it significantly. 

3.   That corporate executives fear for their jobs and are willing to sacrifice personnel, profits, and the shareholder’s interests in the process.  

4.    Lower-level performers, even those with a significant financial interest in the show are unwilling to stake their careers on a rogue performer, especially when a significant portion of their media/public relations interaction with the public consists of virtue signaling and assuming the posture of an activist for some cause.

5.   That timing is critical if an intemperate statement can be used to capture media attention by activists, agitators, and serve someone's personal, professional, or political agenda.

Am I Next? Comic Wanda Sykes on Roseanne Barr's tweet.

African-American comic/activist Wanda Sykes, whose role as "consulting producer, commented ...


Am I Next? Sara Gilbert on Roseanne Barr's tweet

Roseanne co-star, Sara Gilbert likewise expressed her feelings ...



Roseanne Barr's Apology for Valerie Jarrett tweet.

The apology that would never be sufficient ...

The inevitable failure of Barr's apology was pre-ordained because a significant portion of the progressive and Democrat Party that already was greatly upset with President Donald Trump was not in a forgiving mood as long as this incident could be exploited just prior to the 2018 primary election cycle that determines the fate of both Democrats and Republicans.

Bottom line ...

Humor is a tricky thing -- even in the hands of trained and experienced comics. No matter how famous a star, how large the audience, and how profitable a show, executives are willing to throw anyone under the bus to preserve their own jobs in the face of public opinion.