Breaking story about Roseanne’s popular new reboot… her show has apparently been canceled by ABC due to “racist” tweets about former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett.
Facing a fevered backlash over social media, Roseanne Barr apologized Tuesday for making a racist comment at longtime Barack Obama adviser and close friend Valerie Jarrett.
Over Twitter, the irascible star of the newly relaunched ABC sitcom “Roseanne” launched a firestorm by writing of Jarrett: “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” Jarrett was born in Iran and is African-American.
Barr initially responded to criticism suggesting the remark was a “joke.” But as calls quickly grew for both ABC and sponsors to drop the sitcom, she later offered a full-throated apology.
“I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans,” Barr wrote. “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.”
Jarrett, who is now a University of Chicago Law School senior fellow, declined comment through a spokesperson. ABC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
But long-time Jarrett friend and White House colleague David Axelrod took aim at Barr’s comment.
“I’m proud of Valerie and the extraordinary life and contributions she’s made,” Axelrod said in an email Tuesday. “Can anyone say the same about that tweet? It brands itself.”
It appears the original tweet was since taken down.
Amid fallout over the comments, Wanda Sykes, who described herself as a consulting producer for the program, tweeted that she “will not be returning” to “Roseanne.” And Sara Gilbert, who plays the daughter to Barr’s fictional Roseanne Conner character on the show, expressed disappointment over the “abhorrent” remarks on social media.
“Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show,” Gilbert tweeted. “I am disappointed in her actions to say the least.”
She 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.”
The network faced renewed pressure Tuesday to address incendiary public remarks from Barr, who has sparked controversy by propagating unsubstantiated conspiracy theories online.
Her remarks on Jarrett prompted a fresh round of calls for companies to drop their ads on the program.
Despite the uproar, over a dozen sponsors for “Roseanne” did not respond to requests for comment from POLITICO on whether they will discontinue ads on the program. They include Target, Pepsi, Microsoft, Samsung, Buick, Olive Garden, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Ashley Furniture, SunTrust, Ford, Southwest, Hotels.com, Kimberly-Clark Corp and GSK.