Roseanne Barr’s firing from ABC came after she had multiple conversations with the network that had nothing to do with her infamous tweet. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey revealed she has no regrets about axing the star of TV’s No. 1 comedy series in the wake of her Twitter scandal.
After Barr made a Memorial Day tweet describing the appearance of former White House advisor Valerie Jarrett as a cross between “Muslim brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes,” she was immediately fired and her self-titled show canceled by ABC. But Dungey said it wasn’t a hard decision to cut the Roseanne star loose.
“It wasn’t that difficult. It felt like a line had been crossed and we needed to stand by our values as a company.”
Dungey, who recently had an exclusive session about Roseanne Barr’s Twitter history at the Television Critics Association panel, also revealed that the network had engaged in “multiple discussions” with their outspoken star before the final scandal.
“It’s not a secret that she has had a tendency in the past to be sort of outspoken and go off-book. We’ve had multiple conversations about wanting to keep the focus on the show and not to let some of the other stuff eclipse the show. …We’d had lots of conversations about wanting to keep the focus on 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.”
Barr, who was once photographed dressed as Hitler holding a tray of burnt cookies, reportedly made the network a lot of promises about her behavior before the Roseanne revival series was picked up last year. Dungey said the ex ABC star even said she regretted her past actions and was looking for a second chance.
Dungey revealed that she hasn’t heard from Roseanne Barr since she was fired from the network, and she has no further message for her at this point.
Roseanne Barr’s firing played out swiftly behind the scenes after she posted the offensive tweet about Valerie Jarrett in May. Hours after the Roseanne star began what she later described as “Ambien tweeting,” ABC pulled the plug on Roseanne. According to CNN, Roseanne Barr got the bad news during a conference call in which she was described as “contrite” as she was told her hit sitcom was getting axed.
As for the recently announced The Conners spinoff, which will feature all of the Roseanne cast and crew members sans Barr, Dungey wouldn’t dish on how the Roseanne Conner character will be written out of the new series. But she did reveal that the characters will move forward with the story arcs that were set up in the nine-episode revival earlier this year.
The Conners will premiere on ABC in October.