ABC Executives admit it was a mistake to immediately fire Roseanne Barr for what was perceived to be a racist tweet. The relaunch of her show was very well received and forcing her out has affected viewership and their bank account. Now, they are lamenting how it all went down.
Hollywood has a zero-tolerance policy for conservative entertainers who make mistakes. Liberals are always given the benefit of the doubt while Republicans are typically abandoned to face a firing squad. Tinseltown is now figuring out this is a bad look for them.
Two ABC insiders said that the network is now regretting immediately firing Roseanne without giving her an opportunity to let the dust settle after her tweet saying Valerie Jarrett was like the ‘Muslim brotherhood & Planet of the Apes had a baby.”
“We didn’t think it through properly. What Roseanne did was wrong but we shouldn’t have rushed to fire her. It was almost a knee-jerk reaction by Ben [Sherwood] and Channing [Dungey] who should have launched an investigation,” one of the ABC executives said. “This would have given them more time to listen to the public, advertisers and cast members to determine the best decision.”
“They could’ve suspended her from the first few episodes without pay and had her return later on in the season,” the insider continued. “I mean the season finale saw Roseanne going to the hospital for knee surgery. While they worked out her fate, her character could have faced serious complications and fought for her life, while simultaneously making Roseanne fight for her career with a national apology tour. ”
Roseanne Barr offered up some solutions to work through the backlash over her tweet. ABC wouldn’t hear it, but now they wish they had.
“The morning the racist tweet scandal blew up, Roseanne offered to publicly apologize and do the rounds of every show but Ben and Channing weren’t having any of that and wanted her gone,” the insiders shared. “Why not have her front a PSA for the network on racism and cyberbullying?”
Instead “Roseanne” was spun into “The Conners” without the headlining star. Now, they realize that viewers won’t tune in to see the spinoff because Roseanne Barr was the draw. Without her, the show is nothing.
ABC also must be regretting its decision to cancel top-rated “Last Man Standing” after the conservative-leaning show went on to continue its high ratings after being picked up by another network.