Roseanne: Her ‘Race’ to the Finish

ABC has cancelled Roseanne after its considerable comeback last season. The show’s termination follows the lead actress’ racist Twitter commentary toward former White House Senior Advisor, Valerie Jarrett. Barr’s tweets were described from ABC’s first Black-American woman president, Channing Dungey, as, “…abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.” Barr made strongly worded attacks on Jarrett’s physical appearance, carrying heavy racial tautness.


Roseanne’s tweet last week referring to Valerie Jarrett. Source,

Season one of the Roseanne revival raked in $45 million in ABC’s ad revenue. But this issue has brought forth a deeper consciousness that needs to be addressed. As much as Roseanne was a major focal point at the network’s upfront a couple weeks ago, so was celebrating diversity. Yara Shahidi, a young actress and activist of color, has become the face of ABC’s partner station, Freeform. Shows such as Fresh off the Boat and Black-Ish share a station with the newly cancelled, Roseanne. Dungey’s decision to stop programming exhibits how networks and businesses alike should hold the same social accountability.

Roseanne Barr has issued a series of public apologetic tweets regarding her statements. The first admission blamed sleep medication, Ambien, where she received immediate backlash. Sanofi, the pharmaceutical company that makes Ambien, responded saying, “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”

What does this mean for ABC’s Ad Sales?

A thirty second spot during Roseanne last season was $167,000 with a 3.5 rating, far above last season’s average. But the network is not concerned that the cancellation will hurt their revenue. If anything, buyers will come as ABC allies because they want to be apart of a socially responsible team. They also maintain a strong lineup and a list of new shows including, “The Kids Are Alright”. The second season of Roseanne was gearing up to center more around family and less around politics. This was interrupted.