NEW YORK — ABC has cancelled its hit reboot of “Roseanne” after the show’s biggest star Roseanne Barr posted a racist tweet about former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.
ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey says the comment “is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel the show.”
The “Roseanne” revival this spring was an unexpected major hit for ABC. It was particularly popular among many conservative viewers because Barr’s character expressed support for President Donald Trump.
Barr is notorious for tweeting about pro-Trump conspiracy theories and other controversial topics. This week she repeatedly attacked prominent Democrats.
In one of the tweets, she wrote, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”
Barr was responding to a comment about Valerie Jarrett, a top former aide to President Obama. She replied to CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski and said it was “a joke.”
But Barr later deleted the tweet and tweeted an apology to Jarrett and “all Americans.”
“I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks,” Barr tweeted. “I should have known better. Forgive me — my joke was in bad taste.” Barr then said she’s leaving Twitter.
Jarrett declined to comment.
Following Barr’s Twitter rant, one of the show’s consulting producers, Wanda Sykes, said she’s done with the show.
“I will not be returning to @RoseanneOnABC,” Sykes tweeted.
And Sara Gilbert, who plays Barr’s daughter on the ABC sitcom, tweeted that Barr’s comments are “abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show.”
Gilbert added: “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.”
Social media lit up with criticism of both Barr and ABC, with some demanding a response from the broadcast network.
MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough was critical of ABC on Twitter.
“Hey @ABC, Roseanne Barr compared Valerie Jarrett to an ape. There is no apology she can make that justifies @ABC turning a blind eye to this bigotry by airing another second of her show,” he tweeted. “Even in the Age of Trump, there are red lines that can never be crossed. This is one.”
Others like civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson called on the network to cancel the show.
“.@ABC, how desperate are you to profit from Roseanne’s racism? We know racism sells in this country, it always has. But you don’t have to participate in it,” he tweeted. “This apology is meaningless. Cancel Roseanne.”
The premiere of Roseanne’s reboot was one of the highest-rated new shows of the season, and Barr is one of the network’s biggest stars, if not its biggest.
However, after the huge debut, which brought in more than 18 million live viewers, the show saw its audience come back down to earth. Its finale, which aired last week, nabbed roughly 10 million viewers.
Video produced by Summer Delaney.