ABC was caught in a whirlwind when they hired Roseanne to reboot the show that made her a household name. With record-breaking numbers Roseanne returned steering Connor’s household helm, only the show had a controversial, and political theme. Conservatives loved the show’s return and even President Trump tweeted its praise and congratulated Roseanne Barr for her rating success. ABC was thrilled and Roseanne, the show that started in 1988 had come full circle. Thirty years later, Roseanne returned and the show became one that discussed different political views and how families can survive as a unit when its members hold opposing beliefs.
That is until Roseanne Barr made the fatal mistake of tweeting a racist and Islamaphobic tweet.
On May 29, 2018, Roseanne did what Kim Kardashian has always dreamed of doing: she broke the Internet.
Within minutes of Roseanne’s tweet, it went viral and so too did calls for her show to be pulled. Not only did ABC cancel her show, leaving her cast mates to feel the impact of suddenly losing their jobs, but streaming and on-demand sites announced they were pulling all Roseanne episodes from their lineups.
ABC has canceled the Roseanne revival following Roseanne Barr’s controversial comments. https://t.co/zUEXXko2Qi
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) May 29, 2018
But did ABC react prematurely?
No, in this modern society racism is not condoned. But at the same time, racism or “hidden racism” is one of the most hot-topic, button pushing items our nation faces.
President Trump has been accused of being racist multiple times. Is this not one of the underlying issues feuding the debate that is prevalent in American society today?
Those who are fighting for the rights of immigrants, illegal aliens, for NFL players to “take a knee”, who demand justice for minorities gunned down by police officers with questionable cause, do so because they believe the underlying, hidden thread connecting each injustice is racism.
Maybe the answer to what Roseanne tweeted, and her thought process is not to continue hashing it out on CNN town halls and Twitter limited-character feuds, but rather on the series.
How about cast members be given their right to weigh in on the issue and actually work it into the series? The show was about a family, the common American family that is currently dealing with these issues.
If you don’t think that hidden racism is prevalent in every American’s home conversation, your mistaken. From whether NFL members have the right to take a knee to comparing African-Americans to monkeys and apes, these are debates that are taking place in America.
Should Roseanne Barr get a free pass for her comments? No. But at the same time, this wasn’t her first time tweeting something of this magnitude on the controversial scale.
Could ABC turn this into a teaching moment? Could ABC turn Roseanne’s tweet into a teachable moment that actually causes people to understand why these comments were unacceptable? Could Sara Gilbert sit down at the coffee table and explain to Roseanne why such a comment or tweet is offensive?
Could ABC actually use Roseanne’s tweet as a catalyst that brings real change to the mindset of many who think like her?
Maybe they could. Maybe they could actually reach millions and enact real change in American society.
It wouldn’t be the first time that a character was full of racist, prejudiced stereotypes and was used to make people think: Archie Bunker in All in the Family.
It is possible that Roseanne could be a catalyst that shines a light on racism in America through her cast mates. At this rate, we’ll never know.
But maybe CNN will hold another townhall and America will suddenly change their views and perceptions.
What do you think? Is ABC missing an opportunity to turn this into a truly teachable moment and save the show?
Do you think people would watch an episode where the Connors as a whole confront Roseanne’s racist views?