There's no doubt that what Roseanne Barr tweeted the other day regarding Valerie Jarrett, a former top adviser to President Obama, was racist. But did ABC Entertainment go too far when it canceled her television show?
Referring to Valerie Jarrett, who is African-American, by her initials, Barr tweeted Tuesday: "muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj." Barr later apologized to Jarrett and the public and deleted her tweet, calling it "a bad joke."
ABC said in a statement that Barr's comments were "abhorrent and repugnant"—which they were. And ABC also said the tweet was "inconsistent with our values."
Now, that's an interesting word for ABC to use—values.
This is the same company that employs Joy Behar, a notorious anti-Christian bigot. Behar, a panelist on The View, recently belittled Vice President Mike Pence over his religious beliefs and suggested people who talk to Jesus are mentally ill.
After a massive backlash from viewers, Behar was forced to apologize. However, she was not fired for her blatant bigotry.
In addition, ABC owns ESPN, which earlier this month rehired the profane Keith Olbermann, a man who has been known to unleash a torrent of vulgarities at President Trump. He has repeatedly called President Trump a Nazi on social media, along with other words that are unsuitable to post in this column.
Do the words of Behar and Olbermann reflect ABC's alleged values? If not, why are they still receiving a paycheck?
Well, that's what we call Hollywood hypocrisy. It's permissible for actors and broadcasters to attack conservatives and Christians. And Hollywood especially loves it when celebrities attack Trump supporters.
This bears repeating—what Barr tweeted was detestable and racist, and the network was well within its right to mete out a harsh punishment by cancelling her show, Roseanne. But in doing so, ABC also punished dozens if not hundreds of other people—actors, writers, producers, costumers and makeup artists.
Why not just write Barr out of the show instead of pulling the plug?
Well, I have a theory about that. I contend ABC executives privately despised the program and were just looking for a reason to cancel the show.
Think about it—ABC's highest rated program attracted a huge audience of gun-toting, flag-waving, blue collar Trump supporters. And I believe that embarrassed network executives.
"ABC set to dial back political humor from pro-Trump 'Roseanne' next season," a recent Fox News headline declared.
ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey told reporters before Roseanne was cancelled that the comedy was going to stay "away from politics" and focus "toward family" in the upcoming season.
Matt Drudge responded by tweeting: "Corporate cannibals stripping Roseanne of her fun."
ABC was basically telling journalists it was going to tone down all the rhetoric that appealed to Middle America—the people Hollywood and Hillary Clinton dismiss as a basket of xenophobic, homophobic, racist deplorables.
A few hours after the network pulled the plug on Roseanne, MSNBC's Chris Hayes summed his take on the scandal.
"Roseanne's problem turned out to be that she far too authentically represented the actual worldview of a significant chunk of the Trump base," he said.
And that's why ABC canceled Roseanne. Network executives could not stomach the show's "deplorable" viewers.
Todd Starnes is host of "Fox News & Commentary," heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is The Deplorables' Guide to Making America Great Again.
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