Hit sitcom Roseanne has been axed by the US television network ABC over a joke lead actress Roseanne Barr made on Twitter which was subsequently declared racist by people. The joke was making racist remarks on former US President Barack Obama aide Valerie Jarett. Roseanne apologised to Jarret for what she called a bad joke.
"Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj," tweeted Barr, star of the newly revived ABC TV comedy "Roseanne." After a barrage of criticism on social media, Barr deleted the tweet, apologized and then said she was leaving Twitter.
"I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans," Barr tweeted. "I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me - my joke was in bad taste." "I apologize. I am now leaving Twitter," she said.
Hours after the controversy, Valerie Jarrett reacted on the racist joke made by Roseanne on her. During a show on MSNBC, she said, “I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment.”
“I’m fine. I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and followers who come right to their defense,” she added.
The mea culpa was not enough for ABC however, which issued a statement from its entertainment president Channing Dungey saying it was axing the hit show over Barr's "abhorrent, repugnant" tweet, which was "inconsistent with our values." Barr's 1988-97 hit show "Roseanne" returned to the air this year with her as a Trump-supporting character.
The show is a rare depiction of working-class life on US television and also of Trump supporters, who have been largely ignored by Hollywood.
Barr is also an outspoken backer of President Donald Trump in real life and frequently voices her support for him on Twitter.
The revival of "Roseanne" received good ratings and was recently renewed for a second season.
African-American comedian Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer on the comedy, announced Tuesday she would not be returning to the show.
Campaigns had also been launched on social media to pressure advertisers to drop their support for the sitcom.