- The Washington Times - Friday, August 3, 2018

Comedian Tim Allen lamented the downfall of fellow comic comedian Roseanne Barr, telling reporters Thursday that it’s “a very icy time” for comedy.

“I go way back with Rosie and that’s not the Rosie I know,” Mr. Allen said at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills, Entertainment Weekly reported. “She was the most diverse and tolerant woman I’ve ever known for a long time. Whatever got in her head isn’t the Roseanne I know.”

Ms. Barr was widely condemned in May after she compared former Barack Obama aide Valerie Jarrett, who is black, to a “Planet of the Apes” character on Twitter. She issued an apology and called it a “bad joke,” but ABC canceled her wildly popular “Roseanne” reboot after just one season. Weeks later, the network announced a spinoff series based on the fictional Conner family, “The Conners,” which would not include Ms. Barr.

Ms. Barr’s reaction to the fallout has waffled between remorse and defiance. She apologized again last week on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, but shortly after told her critics to “f—k off.” She has also repeatedly claimed that she didn’t know Ms. Jarrett was black. In a now-viral rant teasing her new YouTube show, she repeatedly screamed, “I thought the bitch was white!”

Mr. Allen is one of very few celebrities to come to Ms. Barr’s defense. Oscar-winning actress and comedian Monique Hicks, better known as Mo’Nique, last week declared that she would stand by her “sister in comedy” and called on the public to forgive the former TV mom.

On Thursday, Mr. Allen said it was unfortunate that political correctness claimed Ms. Barr’s career.

“It’s a very icy time,” he said. “I’ve been a comedian for 38 years and I’ve never seen it, like Lenny Bruce said at the Purple Onion, ‘We’ve gone backwards.’ There are things you can’t say. There are things you shouldn’t say. Who makes up these rules? And as a stand-up comic, it’s a dangerous position to be in because I like pushing buttons. It’s unfortunate.”

Mr. Allen’s “Last Man Standing” was similarly canceled by ABC, but the comedian said he didn’t believe it was a political decision. Asked whether the network was right to cancel Ms. Barr’s show, he replied, “They had to do what they had to do and it’s their decision.”

“Last Man Standing” was picked up by Fox for a seventh season, set to premiere next month. Mr. Allen said his character will “promote the American way,” but will not outwardly support President Trump.

“I think the guy is a centrist … he’s probably pro-Trump,” he said, EW reported. “He probably doesn’t defend him. He’s for whatever is good for his business and for the state of Colorado. I’m not the character I play. Keanu Reeves didn’t actually murder 100 people in ‘John Wick.’ What’s interesting to me is pissing people off.”

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