ABC drops Roseanne show after racist tweet

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Roseanne Barr Image copyright Getty Images

ABC TV network has cancelled comedian Roseanne Barr’s show after she posted a racist tweet likening an African-American former Obama aide to an ape.

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

Barr’s tweet said Valerie Jarrett was the child of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes film.

She deleted the post and apologised but could not contain the backlash.

“I apologise to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans,” Ms Barr wrote, after follow-up posts in which she defended her remarks as a “joke”.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mrs Jarrett, centre, was one of President Barack Obama’s longest-serving aides

“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.”

Barr also wrote on Tuesday that she was “now leaving Twitter”, but it was unclear if that meant she would deactivate her account.

Ten days ago, she pledged that she was “leaving all social media except Instagram”, saying it was because the atmosphere had become “toxic”.

Barr’s cast mate Sara Gilbert posted on Twitter on Tuesday that the cancellation was “incredibly sad and difficult”.

“We’ve created a show that we believe in,” Ms Gilbert said in the tweet. “One that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member.”

Following Ms Barr’s tweet, one of Roseanne’s consulting producers, Wanda Sykes, said she would not be returning to the show.

The sitcom’s cancellation comes just a month after the hit show was revived.

The premiere in April garnered high ratings, attracting over 18 million viewers.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ms Barr tweeted an apology to Chelsea Clinton – the daughter of former US President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton – after claiming she was married to a relative of billionaire investor George Soros, a bogeyman to right-wing conspiracy theorists.

On Sunday, the 65-year-old comedian also criticised the Obama family for signing on with Netflix to produce TV programmes and movies.

“I don’t think any President should go from WH to producing big media 4 public consumption.”

“It’s an unholy alliance. Leave show biz 2 professionals,” she wrote, adding that “going from show biz 2 WH is OK”.

Ms Barr also implied that she was considering a presidential run someday in the future.

The popular comedy series sparked controversy after it was revealed that she portrays a supporter of US President Donald Trump.

President Trump, who Ms Barr also supports off-camera as well – called her to congratulate her on the success of the revival of her television programme.

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