Three days after ABC threw comedian Roseanne Barr under the bus Tuesday, cancelling her top-rated sitcom over a “racist” remark she had posted to Twitter about a former Obama administration official, word broke that the network wants to revive her show without her — partly because of financial reasons.
Sources familiar with the inner-workings at ABC informed Variety magazine that the network’s head honchos want to re-brand “Roseanne” by eliminating Barr’s character and refocusing the plot on the character’s daughter, Darlene.
But the unnamed sources warned that reviving “Roseanne” could stir up additional drama for the network. Depending on the exact terms of Barr’s contract, the production company behind her sitcom may have to buy out her stake.
“One big problem to overcome is the fact that Barr has a significant financial interest in the series, and there is concern that a new iteration that would benefit her financially would be a non-starter for everyone involved,” Variety noted.
The irony is that part of the reason ABC is so desperate to revive “Roseanne” is because of all the money it owes to the show’s actors, writers and producers.
“Key actors are said to have a minimum 10-episode guarantee for Season 2, which had an initial order of 13 episodes,” Variety reported. “The highest echelon of writers and producers also have some minimum episodic guarantees.”
What ABC doesn’t seem to be factoring into its potential plans is whether or not any of the sitcom’s fans would tune in to watch a Barr-less rebrand.
As it stands, a number fans have pledged to boycott ABC over what they perceive to be its glaring double standards and hypocrisy:
Best comment I've seen all day; @ABCNetwork , A Bigot Corporation Network. #BoycottABC #BoycottABCnetwork #WeStandWithRoseanne #CancelTheView pic.twitter.com/cAucQWmmlz
— MommaBear 😄🇺🇸👩♥🌞 (@MommaBear9876) May 30, 2018
Wanda Sykes is an ABC Employee. Double Standards Maybe? #BoycottABC pic.twitter.com/RTIDCEKemt
— Heather ❤️🌸 Jones (@heatherjones333) May 31, 2018
Some, including black political commentator Larry Elder, have also argued that Barr’s “racist” remark about former President Barack Hussein Obama’s senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, wasn’t actually racist, let alone worthy of her show being cancelled.
In a tweet posted Wednesday, Elder noted that liberal comedian Bill Maher — the host of the HBO talk show “Real Time with Bill Maher” — once suggested President Donald Trump is “the spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan.”
Yet “Real Time with Bill Maher” remains on air, as does “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” a late-night TBS show whose host described the president’s daughter as a “feckless c–t” this week. But when Barr compared Jarrett to an ape from “Planet of the Apes,” all hell broke lose.
“@therealroseanne makes the same joke about Obama aide Valerie Jarrett–and Barr’s show gets cancelled,” Elder tweeted.
"[@realDonaldTrump should prove he wasn't] the spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan."
—@BillMaher, "The Tonight Show," January 2013
.@therealroseanne makes the same joke about Obama aide Valerie Jarrett–and Barr's show gets cancelled.#DoubleStandard pic.twitter.com/IphBqkKeLD
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) May 30, 2018
The appalling lack of any consistency by Hollywood is not appreciated, and if ABC thinks reviving “Roseanne” is all it’ll take for it to reacquire the American people’s trust and pay its bills, it’s probably got something else coming to it.
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