Make no mistake about it; it was the blue wave and all of those millions of Americans who have made their voices heard in rejecting the racism of people like Donald Trump that got Roseanne Barr thrown off of the air.
The Root Politics Editor Jason Johnson said on MSNBC’s Deadline: White House, “It means that ABC and a lot of networks have recognized what the real us is. I’ll be honest with you. From a pure cultural standpoint, I never liked Roseanne. I didn’t like it when I was a kid because I grew up next to people like the Connors in the midwest and they weren’t that I thought the romanticization was unpleasant. Entertainment in Hollywood, they saw Trump get elected. They thought, okay, this could be fine. That’s why we also saw Hank Williams Jr. Coming back to Monday night football. That’s why a couple years ago no one was going to cancel Duck Dynasty despite what some of the stars said. There’s a realization now connected to this blue wave, ABC recognized, wait a minute, there isn’t a market for this kind of behavior anymore. There will be consequences for us. There will be boycotts. There will be people who don’t want to watch our channel. We have Shonda Rhimes who works for us. We have Black-ish. We can no longer economically tolerate this kind of bigotry.”
ABC’/Disney didn’t suddenly discover a moral conscience, and decide to do the right thing. The cancelation of Roseanne was a business decision. The cost of keeping Roseanne Barr on the air was higher than getting rid of the show. The reason why ABC made that assessment is the blue wave. It is the millions of people who took to the streets for the Women’s March. It’s the boycotts, the protests, the showing on Election Day.
Hollywood thought that they had a pro-Trump market, and the combination of politics and nostalgia managed to make the Roseanne revival a hit, but all of the money generated by her show was about to dry up. The ratings had slipped during the first season, and the controversy would have driven them lower as advertisers fled.
If people had been silent, Barr would have gotten away with it again, but this time, the people spoke, ABC listened, and the sound that they heard was a blue wave coming to take their country back.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association