- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 8, 2018

ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said it wasn’t a difficult decision to fire Roseanne Barr and cancel her show after her apparently racist tweet in May, saying it was a “last straw” of multiple instances in which Ms. Barr needed to be reeled in by executives.

“We knew what we wanted to do, and we did it,” Ms. Dungey told Deadline at Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday. “For us, we have had multiple instances with Roseanne, and certainly this tweet crossed the line that cannot be crossed, but it was for us a sense of enough is enough and something had to be done.”

Ms. Barr, who has a long history of making controversial comments, 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 swiftly 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. Dungey said ABC was well aware of Ms. Barr’s controversial Twitter history before the reboot was picked up, but she’s “a believer in second chances” and thought that’s what Ms. Barr deserved.

“It’s not a secret that she has had a tendency in the past to be sort of outspoken and go off-book,” Ms. Dungey told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’ve had multiple conversations about wanting to keep the focus on the show and not to let some of the other stuff eclipse the show. So, in some ways, this was a last straw. But it was also such an egregious tweet that it felt like no matter what, there would have been some action that we would have taken.



“I don’t regret it, I am never going to regret waking up that morning and seeing the ratings from that first season, amazing,” she said. “It’s been a journey with ups and downs, but I’m very excited about what we’re going to have with the Conners in the fall. I think it’s going to be great.”

Ms. Dungey said it was important to her to make things right with the crew members put out of work after the canceling of “Roseanne.”

“I am excited about the fact that we were able to bring the cast back and a majority of the crew back to work on ‘The Conners’ — that’s important to me,” she said. “That was my one disappointment that day — thinking about the innocent people who were affected by the decision. The fact that we’re now able to move forward with ‘The Conners’ feels good.”

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