In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, ABC Exec Channing Dungey said that the network’s choice to cancel Roseanne wasn’t a difficult one. As The Hill reports, Dungey felt that the tweet was untoward and that ABC “needed to stand by our values as a company.”
“I think the swift, decisive action really spoke volumes and I think we’re proud of what we did,” she added. The Roseanne reboot premiered to high numbers and rave reviews. Even the president congratulated Roseanne. But when she tweeted that President Obama’s former senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, looked like a combination of the “Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes,” ABC canceled the show within hours.
At the time, Dungey wrote in a statement that “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.”
After the cancellation, Roseanne apologized to Jarrett, citing her use of the drug Ambien as a reason for her comment. She deleted the tweet shortly after. Last month, Roseanne took to her YouTube account and, in a nonsensical video, screamed “I thought the b**ch was white!” referring to Jarrett.
In another video, Roseanne didn’t acknowledge the tweet as a reason for her firing, but said that it was “because I voted for Donald Trump, and that’s not allowed in Hollywood.”
President Trump called ABC out on their decision to cancel Roseanne, saying that they were hypocritical for apologizing to Jarret (ABC CEO Bob Iger called Jarrett after the tweet to apologize on behalf of the network), but not to him after the network has said “horrible” things about him.
Though Dungey did not address the incident with President Trump, she did say address Roseanne’s outspoken nature, like when she said that “Goldman Sachs should be executed” and said that Isreal is a “Nazi state.” But Dungy added that she and Roseanne have “had multiple conversations about wanting to keep the focus on the show and not to let some of the other stuff eclipse the show. So, in some ways, this was a last straw. But it was also such an egregious tweet that it felt like no matter what, there would have been some action that we would have taken.”
Now, the network is planning to move forward with a spinoff of the show called The Conners, which will feature all of the cast minus Roseanne. Dungey said that though they addressed politics in the first episode of Roseanne, The Conners will be more of a family comedy.