30 May 2018

Roseanne show cancelled after 'repugnant' racist tweet

7:14 am on 30 May 2018

US comedian Roseanne Barr's television show has been cancelled after she posted a tweet comparing an ex-Obama adviser to an ape.

Roseanne Barr

Roseanne Barr Photo: AFP

Barr has apologised for the tweet, which insulted Valerie Jarrett, who is African American.

She sparked an online backlash after she called Mrs Jarrett the child of the Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes film.

She deleted the racist post and apologised amid criticism of her and the ABC network, which airs her show.

ABC confirmed today that the show - which had been a ratings success for the network - has been cancelled.

"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.

Mrs Jarrett was born in Iran to American parents.

"I apologise to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans," the star wrote, after follow-up posts in which she defended her remarks as a "joke".

"I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me - my joke was in bad taste."

Her post came in response to another Twitter user, who accused Mrs Jarrett of helping to conceal spying during the Obama administration.

Mrs Jarrett will be contributing to a town hall discussion on MSNBC on Tuesday on the subject of "everyday racism".

Barr also wrote on Tuesday that she was "now leaving Twitter", but it was unclear if that meant she would deactivate her account.

Ten days ago, she pledged that she was "leaving all social media except Instagram", saying it was because the atmosphere had become "toxic".

Consulting producer of the television show and fellow comedian Wanda Sykes tweeted later in the day that she "will not be returning" to the programme.

Earlier on Tuesday, Barr tweeted an apology to Chelsea Clinton - the daughter of former US President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton - after claiming she was married to a relative of billionaire investor George Soros.

"Sorry to have tweeted incorrect info about you! Please forgive me," she wrote to Chelsea Clinton.

On Sunday, the 65-year-old comedian also criticised the Obama family for signing on with Netflix to produce TV programmes and movies.

"I don't think any President should go from WH to producing big media 4 public consumption."

"It's an unholy alliance. Leave show biz 2 professionals," she wrote, adding that "going from show biz 2 WH is OK".

She also implied that she was considering a presidential run someday in the future.

Roseanne's reboot of her popular comedy series has sparked controversy as well as strong ratings, after it was revealed that she portrays a supporter of US President Donald Trump.

President Trump, who she also supports off-camera as well - called her to congratulate her on the success of the revival of her television programme.

Actors Don Cheadle and Patrica Arquette were among those who took to Twitter to condemn Barr's tweets.