NEWS
29/05/2018 17:55 BST | Updated 30/05/2018 09:05 BST

Roseanne Barr's Show Cancelled After Racist Slur Against Obama Adviser Valerie Jarrett

TV channel calls offensive tweet 'abhorrent and repugnant'.

US television channel ABC has cancelled Roseanne Barr’s sitcom after the actress made a racial slur about one of Barack Obama’s senior advisers.

The network called her comments “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values” as it canned ‘Rosanne’.

In a statement ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said: “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”

Barr had referred to Obama aide Valerie Jarrett as “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj”.

During Obama’s administration, Jarrett, an African-American who was born in Iran to American parents, was one of the president’s closest advisers. 

Twitter

Barr, who starred in the ABC revival of her sitcom, had been responding to a tweet alleging that “Jarrett helped hide a lot” - a reference to a Wikileaks claim that the CIA spied on candidates for the French election during Obama’s term.

Barr initially claimed her tweet about Jarrett was just a “joke”, and argued that “Islam is not a race”. She later apologised and deleted the original tweet.

NurPhoto via Getty Images
Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Barack Obama.

Barr wrote: “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.”

She later added: “I am now leaving Twitter.”

A spokesman for Jarrett said she had no comment.

‘Roseanne’ was ABC’s biggest hit this year, drawing an average of 18.7 million viewers, second only to CBS sitcom ‘The Big Bang Theory’.

The original ‘Roseanne’, which aired from 1988 to 1997, featured a blue-collar family, the Conners, struggling to get by and was praised for its realistic portrayal of working-class life.

Jarrett, through spokesman Jordan Finkelstein, declined to comment.

Twitter

Barr also tweeted about Chelsea Clinton, referring to her as “Chelsea Soros Clinton”, a reference to the billionaire George Soros, who has helped fund progressive causes.

Clinton fired back with her own response, writing, “Good morning Roseanne - my given middle name is Victoria. I imagine George Soros’s nephews are lovely people. I’m just not married to one. I am grateful for the important work @OpenSociety does in the world. Have a great day!”

Twitter

 

Later on Tuesday morning, comedian Wanda Sykes, one of the consulting producers of the Roseanne show, announced on Twitter that she would not be returning to the show.

Phil McCarten / Reuters

Sara Gilbert, who plays Barr’s daughter Darlene on the show, called her co-star’s comments “abhorrent”.

“I am disappointed in her actions to say the least,” Gilbert tweeted.

“This 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 — one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member.”

In the past, Barr has openly called her detractors Nazis and in 2009 dressed as Adolf Hitler in a photo shoot for a satirical Jewish magazine.

For that article, she was photographed pulling gingerbread men out of an oven. She has repeatedly attacked Muslims and likened critics of Israel to Nazis.

“I’m just really old,” Barr, now 65, said at the time in defence of the photos. “When you’re post-menopausal, you’re just really crazy.”