Dear ABC, You Shouldn’t Have Hired Roseanne Barr In The First Place

ABC shut down production on one of their highest rated shows — Roseanne on Tuesday — after comedian Roseanne Barr shared a tweet that callously insulted President Obama’s senior advisor — Valerie Jarrett by comparing her to a primate — which has become the standard default for racist White women.

“Planet of the Apes” — “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”

Of course this isn’t the first time a prominent Black woman has been treated to this form of abuse by notable White Americans — who are obsessed with the habit of demeaning Black women with references to apes and chimps.

Former first lady — Michelle Obama spent her years in The White House — enduring the venomous assault from a host of assholes who used their privilege to degrade her physicality as the Black woman who deserves to be described as “an ape in heels.”

Trump supporter Carl Paladino also chimed in when he expressed his desire for her to “return to being a male” and be “let loose” in Zimbabwe to live with gorillas.” It’s also worth noting that despite the epically catastrophic statement unleashed by Paladino — it took a hot minute before he was appropriately reprimanded.

It’s also important to point out that Roseanne Barr’s abhorrent tweet that reduced an accomplished woman who served and continues to serve this country to the best of her ability — to the top result of a Google search for the word “ape” — remarkably didn’t incite the ire of the same White women in media — who were inconsolable over Michelle Wolf’s harmless joke about Sarah Huckabee Sander’s questionable character.

Even the beloved first lady didn’t receive any support from influential White women when Paladino went ape shit and publicly harassed the Black woman who resided in the White House for eight years.

My point is that ABC did the right thing by unplugging Roseanne — and using her as an example of how dwelling in Trump’s America can have severe consequences — if the president’s deplorable example is being used as the behavioral template.

Trump is the wealthy White guy who can afford to endorse White supremacists and support child molesters — while singing the praises of wife beaters — and still keep his job as Commander-in-Chief.

Regular bigots can’t expect to enjoy the freedom of polluting their timelines with hateful rhetoric without the threat of being stripped of their power and might.

Yes — Roseanne has been silenced for now — but the bigger issue lies with the fact that ABC willingly played with the devil — and ignored the high risk of courting a disaster waiting to happen. It made sense to give Trump’s America the safest avenue to fulfillment — and even their leader couldn’t contain his joy when the ratings proved his potent appeal.

The reboot of Roseanne was a “fuck you” to Black America — Muslims — and other marginalized groups who had to contend with the reality that network television has to profit from the inclusion of audiences — that view their White supremacist president as the hero who arrived to validate their existence and deadly beliefs.

ABC never should’ve hired Roseanne in the first damn place — and even though executives are being praised for their swift decision to end the madness — we can’t forget what got us here.

We can’t ignore that when faced with the option to reject the temptation of bringing back a popular and revered show under the tutelage of a raging racist — who never downplayed her unpredictably vile tendencies — ABC chose to take the bait and hope for the best.

Now that shit has hit the fan — will this event spark an in-depth analysis of what went wrong and why?

Critics spend weeks trying to figure out why movies like Solo — from phenomenally successful franchises — fail to register at box offices both home and abroad — and yet we refrain from applying that same effort to the shit storm in our backyard.

We can’t continue to assume that we can eat our cake and have it too.

If something already stinks — there’s no way to pretty it up with “Black cast members” and trendy storylines that are supposed to somehow bond us.

ABC gave Roseanne a chance to return to the spotlight because there was the understanding that her marketability would be profitable — and so it was worth the shot.

Blood money is like quick sand and in the end it dissolves — leaving nothing salvageable — except the desire to never get to that point where the quest to do the honorable thing is lost to greed and stupidity.

Doing the right thing should be as easy as abc. Period.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store