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Roseanne Cast Members ‘Devasted’ By Her ‘Abhorrent’ Tweets

When Roseanne took to Twitter yesterday to express her off-the-wall opinions, there were serious ramifications and consequences. Unfortunately, however, those consequences are being suffered by a lot of people other than just herself.

Every top-rated television show gives dozens of people jobs that pay very well, including of course the other members of the cast.  After ABC cancelled Roseanne we learned that dozens of people would be losing their jobs, and other cast members were ‘devastated’ by the decision. 

Sara Gilbert, who played Darlene on the show, is also an executive producer and one of the key players who got the Roseanne reboot back on the air. After Roseanne’s Twitter outburst Gilbert immediately posted two tweets of her own, expressing her disgust and her disappointment in the actions of her TV mom.

Gilbert called Roseanne’s Tuesday-morning outburst — in which she made a racial slur against African-American former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett — “abhorrent,” adding that Roseanne’s remarks do “not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least.”

Gilbert continued, “This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love— one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member.”

The truth is that Gilbert, along with other stars like John Goodman and Laurie Metcalfe, will be losing hundreds of thousands — possibly millions — of dollars because of Roseanne’s ill-considered tweets.  

And of course the less prominent cast members also have been severely harmed.  Most of them didn’t say anything on Twitter but at least one cast member did —  Michael Fishman, who has played D.J. Conner on the series since its start in 1988.  He said that he’s “devastated” that the show was cancelled.

“Today is one of the hardest in my life,” he wrote on Twitter. “I feel devastated, not for the end of the Roseanne show, but for all those who poured their hearts and souls into our jobs, and the audience that welcomed us into their homes.”

Fishman also said the show’s cast and writers and producers were all committed to “inclusiveness,” as shown by the decision to show his character D.J. in an interracial marriage.  This was “designed to represent the inclusive nature of my views,” Fishman said.

He also had this to say about Barr’s behavior:

“I condemn these statements vehemently. They are reprehensible and intolerable, contradicting my beliefs and outlook on life and society. I have always lived and taught my children to be inclusive. I believe our show strived to embrace different backgrounds and opinions, through open dialogue.”

“I remind everyone that we must stand up against bias, hatred, bigotry and ignorance to make society a better place for all.”

Entertainment lawyers and financial experts have chimed in also, saying that the cancelling of the hit show “will cost ABC millions of dollars.”  It was a price they felt they had to pay, though, since in today’s environment Roseanne’s racist outburst made her appearance on TV radioactive.  Even her reruns on other networks are being pulled from the air.

Beyond the financial hit suffered by the networks and the actors, and beyond the loss of jobs of many dozens of people, there is a larger loss being suffered by all of society because of what Roseanne has done.  When racist comments and attitudes are accepted and made mainstream by public figures like Roseanne Barr and Donald Trump it diminishes us all, and this should not be allowed to happen.

Leo Vidal

I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.

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