Entertainment Celebrity Celebrities attack Roseanne Barr as her racist tweet sees hit show axed
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Celebrities attack Roseanne Barr as her racist tweet sees hit show axed

Roseanne Barr John Goodman
Roseanne Barr, with screen husband John Goodman on March 23,2018, said her tweet was "stupid". Photo: Getty
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Hollywood was swift to share its thoughts on Roseanne Barr after a racist tweet saw the reboot of her hit 1980s show cancelled.

The comedian, 65, sparked outrage overnight by comparing Barack Obama’s former adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape.

Barack Obama Valerie Jarrett
Barack Obama with Valerie Jarrett in 2009. Photo: Getty

In a since-deleted tweet, Barr wrote that if the Islamist political movement “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj.”

US television network ABC responded to the “repugnant” tweet by pulling the plug on Roseanne. Australia’s Network Ten followed later Wednesday, “appalled and disgusted” by Barr’s tweet.

Also dropped by her agent, Barr later apologised for the “bad taste” crack about Ms Jarrett, who was born in Iran to American parents.

She then told her 646,000 followers she was leaving Twitter, but reappeared later several times:

Ms Jarrett told MSNBC she’s “fine” and can deal with the racism, but Barr’s Roseanne co-stars, other celebrities and media insiders were less forgiving when they weighed in on social media.

Roseanne actor Sara Gilbert slammed Barr’s comments as “abhorrent”.

“This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love – one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member,” she wrote on Twitter.

Another co-star, Emma Kenney, said she was ringing her agent to quit the show when she heard it was cancelled: “I am hurt, embarrassed and disappointed. The racist and distasteful comments from Roseanne are inexcusable. Bullies do not win. Ever”.

The show’s “devastated” stars, Michael Fishman, called the day “one of the hardest” in his life. “The words of one person do not exemplify the thinking of all involved”.

Actor Minnie Driver applauded ABC’s “ethical compunction” for canning it despite the show’s huge ratings, while comedian Billy Eichner said firing Barr was not enough: “I am going to personally remove all of the Meryl Streep scenes from [Barr movie] She-Devil.”

Actor Holly Robinson-Peete felt “terrible” for the show’s crew: “Many jobs lost. All she had to do was just not peddle racism.”

Charlie Sheen saw an opportunity for self-promotion, as did Barr’s ex-husband, actor Tom Arnold:

Star Wars star Mark Hamill was scathing, saying, “I bet Fox will pick it up and pair it with Tim Allen’s show”.

Actor Billy Baldwin referenced US president Donald Trump, who Barr publicly supports: “Trump must be mainlining Fox & Friends, a Happy Meal … and a jumbo bag of Skittles at this point”.

Comedian Ricky Gervais supported the ABC against Barr supporters who said her sacking and the resulting furore was censorship.

Said actor Zach Braff, “When your show got cancelled but you’re not racist.”

Roseanne was ABC’s biggest hit of the 2017-2018 season. The show drew an average of 18.7 million viewers, second only to CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory.

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