After Roseanne Barr detonated a racist bomb on Twitter, ABC did the right thing by cancelling the Roseanne reboot. Though the show's second season had already been greenlit, Roseanne effectively sabotaged the chances of the reboot's return.
But the creator of ABC's Black-ish, Kenya Barris, was not surprised at Roseanne's abrupt fate. After reading the racist tweet, he was ready to protest until he discovered that ABC was already in the process of pulling the plug on the network's highest-rated show.
Kenya Barris – I Almost Quit ABC Over Roseanne! https://t.co/IiKUH66OuB https://t.co/Owdv8U1QOd— theJasmineBRAND.com (@theJasmineBRAND.com)1528383472.0
Barris addressed ABC, the same network that airs Black-ish, during a panel discussion on Variety's "Path To Parity:"
You hired a monster and then you asked why the monster was killing villagers.
Kenya Barris (@funnyblackdude) on ABC canceling #Roseanne: "You hired a monster and then you ask why the monster wa… https://t.co/aXeQH1Gp1m— Variety (@Variety)1528310100.0
The discussion was moderated by Debra Birnbaum, and welcomed some of the most progressive voices in television: Transparent's Jill Soloway, One Day at a Time's Gloria Calderon Kellett, The Walking Dead's Glen Mazzara, and Melissa Rosenberg from Jessica Jones.
#JessicaJones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg: Entry-level jobs in the TV industry "pay for s---"… https://t.co/gxS2dQaYRm— Variety (@Variety)1528308505.0
Barris recalled the day he read Barr's tweet—in which she compared former Obama administration adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape:
I was literally coming out of the show and I was like fuck this. I was going to go crazy. I was going to call my agent and go on Don Lemon and other shows.
Barris called the network to inform them about the vile tweet only to discover that ABC executive Channing Dungey was already in the process of cancelling Barr's show.
@Variety @funnyblackdude Back in the day if your show was very successful you could do anything and get away with i… https://t.co/FFeRrdBhDt— Don't be Wooed by the Dance (@Don't be Wooed by the Dance)1528311324.0
He was impressed with the network's quick decision-making:
It was amazing. Having Channing at the head and having Bob (Iger) be supportive.
Despite the network's decision, Barris was still remorseful with ABC for giving Barr a platform to begin with. Her racism is hardly a revelation, as pointed out by Twitter.
@HuffPost Let's be clear. ABC didn't fire Roseanne because she was racist. She's been racist for a very long time.… https://t.co/KaywhwRHJ9— Ron Wilson (@Ron Wilson)1528408970.0
ABC should have known about Roseanne's history of racist tweets and promoting conspiracy theories, as Barris points… https://t.co/y9iDrD5dHc— Marina Fang (@Marina Fang)1528385848.0
@blackvoices They knew they were getting a snake when they took her in!— Nalutik (@Nalutik)1528398169.0
At the end of the day, the demise of Roseanne was Barr's own doing.
@Lawrence Roseanne cancelled Roseanne and it was beautiful.— Roxy💋 (@Roxy💋)1528310540.0
Many villagers may have been slaughtered (according to Barris's acerbic analogy), but it looks like the survivors are rising above the wreckage and producing a spin-off without the repugnant monster.
@Variety The Connors will do just fine without Rosanne. Gilbert, Metcalf and Goodman was always what propped her up.— Deborah Macgillivray (@Deborah Macgillivray)1528173549.0
@therealroseanne ABC Spinoff? #Never https://t.co/tqs6Jw2ZZZ— MADD - Mothers Against Drunk David (@MADD - Mothers Against Drunk David)1528229589.0