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Valerie Jarrett Says Roseanne Tweet ‘a Teaching Moment’

Valerie Jarrett spoke about the tweets directed at her by Roseanne Barr during an appearance on an MSNBC town hall on Tuesday.

“I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment,” Jarrett said “I’m fine. I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and followers who come right to their defense–the person who’s walking down the street minding their own business and they see somebody cling to their purse or walk across the street. Or every black parent I know who has a boy who has to sit down and have a conversation, ‘the talk’ as we call it. Those ordinary examples of racism that happen every single day.”

Barr came under fire early Tuesday for saying that former Obama aide Jarrett looks like the offspring of the “Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes.” Jarrett, an African-American, was born in Iran to American parents. Barr’s comments were quickly denounced as racist. Just hours later, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey announced ABC was cancelling the planned second revival season of the show, which would have been its eleventh overall.

Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” Dungey said in a statement.

Just after Barr’s statement on Jarrett, Wanda Sykes, who worked as a consulting producer on the first revival season, announced she would not be returning for the show’s next season. Series co-star and executive producer Sara Gilbert then condemned Barr’s comments, saying, “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. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least. 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 revival of “Roseanne” was not only the top show on ABC, but one of the top shows on all of television. ABC had been poised to finish the traditional September-May television season in fourth place in the key adults 18-49 demographic among the Big 4 broadcast networks, but “Roseanne’s” massive ratings drove them to a tie for second place instead.

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