×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Trump Embraced ‘Roseanne,’ but No Word Yet on What He Thinks Now

WASHINGTON — The White House has not yet commented on ABC’s cancellation of “Roseanne” following star Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to say what the president thought about the series’ cancellation. “That’s not what he’s spending his time on,” she said.  “And I think that we have a lot bigger things going on in the country right now, certainly that the President is spending his time when it comes to policy.”

But when the series launched and became an unexpected success in March, President Donald Trump called her, congratulating her on the show’s success.

At a rally in Ohio, he even embraced her success as attributable to his campaign. He told the crowd that Mark Burnett, the executive producer of “The Apprentice,” called him to tell him that the “Roseanne” reboot was a hit.

Burnett, Trump said, told him, “Did you see ‘Roseanne’s’ ratings?’ They were over 18 million people, and it was about us.”

Barr tweeted early Tuesday about Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, and wrote that “Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes had a baby = vj.” She later deleted the post and apologized. ABC decided to cancel the show, its breakout hit of the 2017-18 season, just hours later.

Jarrett is already booked to appear on an MSNBC special on everyday racism on Tuesday night.

“We have to turn it into a teaching moment,” she said in a clip released by the network. “I’m fine. I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and who come right to their defense.”

“There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing,” said Bob Iger, the chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Co.

There was some consternation among conservatives that Barr’s tweets will provide fuel to arguments that Trump and his followers share her views.

Erick Erickson argued on Twitter that Barr “was never a center-right figure. And she’s been a pretty openly insane person for a while. ABC tried to use her to connect with and program to Trump voters. I suspect this cancellation will hurt that cause.”

He added, “I wasn’t a fan of the relaunch or how it was marketed. The wild embrace of Roseanne by people on the right just makes it easier now to bash them via Roseanne. And I think it just will cause networks to ignore real social conservatives now even more than they did.”

Ben Shapiro wrote, “Interesting to see the crossover between people who thought the NFL banning kneeling for the anthem was a First Amendment debacle, but think ABC didn’t raise any First Amendment issues by firing Roseanne. For me, they’re both private corporations that get to decide how certain speech impacts their product. So while I think the NFL handled things poorly, I’m not supremely troubled by their decision, and I think ABC was right to dump Roseanne.”

Eric Bolling tweeted back at Barr that “no apology necessary at all,” and added, “please don’t leave.” He later deleted the tweet.

From many on the right, the show’s success was seen as an example of what happens when Hollywood stops ignoring middle America — or the type of traditional Democratic working class voters that Trump peeled off in 2016 to win the presidency. Although ABC had signaled that the show would tone down its politics in the second season, much of the publicity beforehand was all about Barr’s real-life support of Trump in an industry that leans left.

But she has a history of political provocation, stretching all the way back to 1990, when she gave an off-key rendition of the National Anthem at a San Diego Padres game followed by a gesture in which she grabbed her crotch. President George Bush called it “disgraceful.” She later apologized, but told The Washington Post in 2015 that it took her years to deal with the fallout. Did she regret it? Nope.

More Politics

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Peter Coyote Riffs on 'Country Music' and How He Admires and Challenges Ken Burns

    Though an instantly recognizable face from films such as “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “A Walk to Remember” and “Erin Brockovich,” it is Peter Coyote’s voice — a coolly authoritative baritone with a Zen master’s holy roll — that has endeared him to documentary lovers and makers. Alrhough director-writer Alex Gibney used Coyote’s wisened narration for “Enron: [...]

  • Lowell Smokes Cafe Marijuana

    With Cannabis Lounges, On-Site Consumption, Marijuana-Infused Meals Go Legit

    Can this century’s Roaring ’20s repeat history but with pre-rolled joints instead of whiskey flasks and soccer moms as the new flappers? This month, West Hollywood will see the opening of the nation’s first at least quasi-legal cannabis consumption lounge, officially dubbed Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Café, located at 1211 N. La Brea between Fountain [...]

  • President Donald Trump waves as he

    Trump Holds Fundraiser in Hollywood's Backyard

    President Trump paid a visit to Los Angeles on Tuesday, as part of a West Coast fundraising swing expected to raise $15 million. Trump is set to appear at a dinner at developer Geoffrey Palmer’s house in Beverly Hills, where tickets range from $1,000 to $100,000 for VIPs. Though set in Hollywood’s backyard, the event [...]

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Burning Image Debate Ad

    ABC Runs Debate Ad Showing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Burning Image

    ABC aired an ad during Thursday’s Democratic debate that depicted a burning image of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and likened her politics to those that caused the Cambodian genocide. New Faces GOP funded the ad, which features Elizabeth Heng, a Republican who lost a bid for a Fresno-area congressional seat last year. Ocasio-Cortez responded on Twitter, [...]

  • Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris.

    ABC News' Democratic Debate Lacked Energy and Purpose

    At long last, former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren were on the same stage. And the result was a long and fairly dull evening. After two Democratic Party debate stages in which the field of candidates had been bifurcated — splitting, in both cases, the perceived frontrunners from the establishment and insurgent [...]

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden responds

    Protesters Interrupt Joe Biden During Democratic Debate

    Protesters interrupted presidential candidate Joe Biden during Thursday’s democratic debate. The chants came nearly two and a half hours in as moderator George Stephanopoulos asked the former vice president about any professional setbacks he’s faced and how he recovered from them. “We’re going to clear the protesters,” Stephanopoulos said as the chants began. “We’re sorry.” [...]

  • Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren,

    Dems Debate in Houston: Moderates Push Back on Medicare for All

    The third Democratic debate on Thursday was billed as the first showdown between the top contenders: Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Biden did challenge the liberal senators on health care early in the debate, which was broadcast on ABC. He asked repeatedly how they would pay for their multi-trillion [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content