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ABC Cancels 'Roseanne' Reboot After Racially Charged Tweet

Roseanne Barr
Roseanne Barr (Reuters photo)

ABC cancelled the Roseanne reboot after the show's star made a racially charged tweet.

Roseanne Barr has apologized for targeting one of President Barack Obama's senior advisers as the offspring of the "Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes," as she responded to a social media conspiracy theory about President Donald Trump's predecessor.

"I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. 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," Barr wrote on Twitter, later adding, "I am now leaving Twitter."

Barr previously referred to Obama aide Valerie Jarrett as "muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj." She was responding to a Tweet that alleged that "Jarrett helped hide a lot." That was a reference to a Wikileaks claim that the CIA during Obama's term spied on candidates for the French election.

"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.

Barr stars in the ABC revival of her sitcom, which has been renewed for another season. A spokesman for the network did not immediately return a request for comment. A spokesman for Jarrett said she had no comment.

During Obama's administration, Jarrett was one of the president's closest advisers. Jarrett, an African-American, was born in Iran to American parents.

Barr responded to criticism that her tweet was racist by writing, "Muslims r not a race."

Barr also tweeted about Chelsea Clinton, referring to her as "Chelsea Soros Clinton." That is a reference to George Soros, the billionaire who has helped fund progressive causes. Clinton fired back with her own response, writing, "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. I am grateful for the important work @OpenSociety does in the world. Have a great day!"

Barr's apology did not stop calls for ABC to respond.

Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," wrote, "Hey @ABC, Roseanne Barr compared Valerie Jarrett to an ape. There is no apology she can make that justifies @ABC turning a blind eye to this bigotry by airing another second of her show. Even in the Age of Trump, there are red lines that can never be crossed. This is one."

© 2018 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

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