In the immediate hours after ABC’s announcement that they were cancelling Roseanne after Rosanne Barr’s racist comment on Twitter about former Obama official, Valerie Jarret, CNN turned to one of their prime time stars, Don Lemon, to comment on the larger, social and cultural implications of the comment and ABC’s decision.
Without the benefit of producers, writers or a teleprompter, Lemon said Ms. Barr was a conspiracy theorist and bigot and people who watched her program “bought into that” and are “part of that.”
This isn’t about stifling. If you’re a conservative and you’re supporting someone who is a bigot, who is a racist — and let’s not get it twisted. And let’s not soften the words here and say, oh, racially tinged.
This is racist. She is racist. There’s no other way to put it. The president traffics in racism as well. And I have said that I believe he is a racist because he traffics in the same thing.
And she’s not just about playing to it. She is promoting these conspiracy theories that people are believing. And the president is doing it as well. And the administration is doing it as well. Again, this is part of the normalization of conspiracy theories and everyday racism in this country.
And people are starting to believe that it’s OK. They believe these conspiracy theories because there are people like Roseanne who have a platform and a megaphone to push it out there all the time,
20 million people who followed Roseanne. Why do they follow her?
Because, in some way, they bought into her bigotry. And at least part of what she was selling is the bigotry, the racism, the homophobia, the conspiracy theories. That’s all part of Roseanne.
And if you watched that show and you believed it, then you bought into it, and you’re part of that as well.
Later Tuesday evening, on his own program, the implication that an average TV viewer who enjoyed watching the ABC sitcom was somehow a bigoted conspiracy theorist was not included in his monologue or discussion.
Watch the entire video here: