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Ava DuVernay, Shonda Rhimes, More React to ABC Canceling ‘Roseanne’

After a whirlwind morning, ABC announced it is canceling the “Roseanne” revival following Roseanne Barr’s offensive comments about one of Barack Obama’s former senior advisers on Tuesday. Throughout the day, numerous Hollywood stars have taken to Twitter to react to her initial comments, and later, to celebrate the show’s end. 

Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said in a statement, in response to Barr calling former White House aide Valerie Jarrett the offspring of the “Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes.” Jarrett, a black woman, was born in Iran to American parents. When the comment was pointed out as being racist, Barr replied, “Muslims r NOT a race.” She then tweeted that she was “truly sorry for making a bad joke” and announced she was leaving Twitter.

In the wake of the backlash, Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer on “Roseanne,” said she would not be returning to the second season of the ABC show. Following the cancellation, executive producer Tom Werner issued a statement saying, “I support ABC’s decision to cancel the show in the wake of Roseanne Barr’s most recent reprehensible tweets. Our goal was to promote constructive discussion about the issues that divide us. It represented the work of hundreds of talented people. I hope the good work done is not totally eclipsed by these abhorrent and offensive comments, and that Roseanne seeks the help she so clearly needs.”

After news of the cancellation, celebrities including Ava DuVernay came out in support of the network’s decision, who posted a photo of Dungey with the caption, “sitting on top of your world like a Queen in full judgement of your garbage and taking it out.” Similarly, Shonda Rhimes, who had several shows on ABC (but recently signed a deal with Netflix), tweeted “Thank you, Channing. #justice.” Later, Rhimes added, “But honestly she got what she deserved. As I tell my 4 year old, one makes a choice with one’s actions. Roseanne made a choice. A racist one. ABC made a choice. A human one.”

Kumail Nanjiani wrote that he is “glad Roseanne is cancelled. The backlash to its cancellation is going to be a deafening nightmare. Nothing good has come out of this entire thing.”

Others, like “Scandal” star Josh Malina, took a more humorous approach, tweeting “ABC > GOP,”  while others, like Mark Hamill and “The Ellen Show” producer Andy Lassner, joked that Fox would soon be picking up the show, as it recently renewed Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing” a year after ABC canceled the sitcom.

More tweets following the cancellation below:

Before ABC announced the show’s end, some in Hollywood were already calling for the network to take action. “Will & Grace” star Debra Messing tweeted, “@DisneyStudios FIRED an African American sports commentator for a comment (that wasn’t even close to roseanne’s). @therealroseanne should be fired if @DisneyStudios is going to have integrity.”

“Twin Peaks” co-creator Mark Frost, Reverend Al Sharpton, and actor Wilson Cruz also joined in on the conversation, with Cruz writing, “@ABCNetwork can NOT be the home of @blackishabc and #roseanne. You are better than this.”

Others joined in on the criticisms about her initial comments, including Patricia Arquette, Don Cheadle, Tom Arnold, and Ben Platt. Sara Gilbert, Barr’s co-star and an executive producer on the show, tweeted shortly before its cancellation, “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.”

Read more tweets below:

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