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ABC cancels 'Roseanne' in light of 'Planet of the Apes' tweet

Posted at 11:01 AM, May 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-29 23:49:45-04

ABC announced Tuesday it had canceled "Roseanne" in light of a racist tweet from the show's star, Roseanne Barr, earlier that morning.

"Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show," Channing Dungey, the President of ABC Entertainment said in a statement Tuesday.

The star of ABC's hit reboot of "Roseanne" wrote early Tuesday, "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj." Barr was responding to a comment about Valerie Jarrett, a top former aide to President Obama. She later deleted the tweet.

Barr apologized after the bizarre rant Tuesday morning, and then announced she's "now leaving Twitter."

"I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans," Barr tweeted. "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."

Jarrett has so far declined to comment.

Barr also made comments on Twitter Tuesday about Chelsea Clinton, tweeting, "Chelsea Soros Clinton." She later replied in the comments that Clinton is "married to Soros nephew." Soros is a billionaire liberal benefactor who has been the subject to many right-wing conspiracy theories over the years.

Clinton responded to Barr shortly after.

"Good morning Roseanne - my given middle name is Victoria. I imagine George Soros's nephews are lovely people. I'm just not married to one," she wrote.

Barr responded back to Clinton saying, "Sorry to have tweeted incorrect info about you! Please forgive me!"

She then continued, "By the way, George Soros is a nazi who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered in German concentration camps & stole their wealth-were you aware of that? But, we all make mistakes, right Chelsea?"

This is a conspiracy theory about Soros that has been debunked many times. The fact-checking site Snopes called it "false" back in 2016.

Barr's followers are accustomed to her conspiratorial tweets, but even by her standards, Tuesday was outrageous.

The premiere of Roseanne's reboot was one of the highest-rated new shows of the season.

However, after the huge debut, which brought in more than 18 million live viewers, the show saw its audience come back down to earth. Its finale, which aired last week, nabbed roughly 10 million viewers.

Over-the-air broadcast network Laff, which airs classic sitcoms, has said they will no longer be airing original episodes of "Roseanne" following Tuesday's events.

"While we believe viewers have always distinguished the personal behavior of the actress Roseanne Barr from the television character Roseanne Connor, we are disgusted by Barr’s comments this week," the network said in a statement. "Therefore, we are removing the original Roseanne series from the Laff schedule for the time being, effective immediately."

Programming note: ABC15 will air "The Middle" at 7 p.m. tonight in place of the previously scheduled "Roseanne" episode.