In the episode, Roseanne Barr and John Goodman’s characters fall asleep on the couch, with Roseanne saying “we slept from ‘Wheel’ [of Fortune] to [Jimmy] ‘Kimmel.'” Goodman’s Dan responded that they “missed all the shows about black and Asian families,” to which Roseanne retorted “they’re just like us. There, now you’re all caught up.”
“Black-ish” and “Fresh Off the Boat” air during that time slot on ABC and each focus on diverse families, with some criticizing the line as offensive.
Kelvin Yu, a writer on “Bob’s Burgers,” was among the most vocal on Twitter, and in a nine-post thread said that the joke “implies that the point of any show about a minority family is simply to normalize them. That’s it. The stories, the humor, the characters… not important.”
He added, “Consider what exactly the audience is laughing at. What exactly is the punchline here? I’ll tell you what it is: it’s an endorsement of dismissiveness and disregard. It’s a familiarity and comfort with the culture of objectifying and demeaning people of color.”
Yu went on to call out ABC for hypocrisy after the network stopped an episode of “Black-ish” from airing a plot about kneeling during the National Anthem earlier this year “because of fear it would be divisive and alienating.”
Other Twitter users backed up Yu’s argument, with one writing, “ABC shelved an episode of ‘Black-ish’ citing ‘creative differences’ because it was about football players kneeling in protest. Yet they have ‘Roseanne’ coming back as a Trump supporter, taking shots at shows like ‘Black-ish’ and ‘Fresh Off the Boat.'” Some questioned why an ABC show would go after two shows on the same network, and emphasized that “Black-ish” and “Fresh Off the Boat” are some of rare shows on broadcast TV about people of color.
More tweets below: