Oh my God! Someone said something you don’t like! Cancel his (or her) show! Pronounce anathema upon him (or her). Topple the statues, chisel off the names, enact the machinery of damnatio memoriae!
Apparently that’s what’s happening as I write to Roseanne Barr, the actress who had the dual temerity to 1) revive her eponymous television show in an intermittently pro-Trump modality and 2) emit a tabasco tweet about the horrible Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s chief counsellor.
Are you ready? Are you sitting down? Are the children in another room? Here’s the tweet: “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”
Uh oh. Was the tweet in bad taste? Indubitably. Was it racist? Yep. Was it the worst thing ever in the history of civilization? According to ABC, which hosted her new, extremely popular show, the answer appears to be, Yes: nothing so awful has ever besmirched the escutcheon of humanity. “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.” Thus Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment.
“Abhorrent.” “Repugnant.” “Inconsistent with our values.”
It would be an interesting exercise to look into the “values” of ABC Entertainment. In the meantime, I note that Roseanne Barr instantly went into full mea maxima culpa mode: “I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. 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.”
Yes, it was in bad taste. So what? There was a time when bad taste was not a (professional) death sentence. Under the reign of political correctness, that time has passed.
I do not watch television, so I never saw Roseanne Barr’s show. I understand, however, that it was a breath of fresh air, not so much conservative as simply independent.
That in itself was unacceptable to the Mandarins running Hollywood, of course, Compound that tort with the unbearable fact that the show was wildly popular and you have a prescription for proscription. I doubt that the show could have been permitted to continue for very long in any case.
Add that over-the-top tweet—some 50 characters—and, bang, the woman has to be ostracised, destroyed.
Again, much though I loathe Valerie Jarrett, I agree that Roseanne Barr ought to have forborne to release that tweet. But it is a big deal only in the fetid, politically correct swamps nurtured by people like Valerie Jarrett and enforced (now that she is, thank God, away from the White House) by craven corporate collaborators like the disgusting Disney Company.
This really is an “abhorrent” and “repugnant” episode, but I’d say a lot of the obloquy falls on the shoulders of Disney, not Roseanne.