One day after the ABC TV network canceled Roseanne Barr’s television show following racist remarks she posted about Valerie Jarrett, an African American who served as a White House adviser to President Barack Obama, U.S. President Donald Trump broke his silence Wednesday, suggesting the network owes him an apology for reasons he did not fully explain.
Barr, who is white, tweeted Tuesday that Jarrett is a product of the Muslim Brotherhood and the “Planet of the Apes.”
She later tweeted she was sorry “for making a bad joke” about Jarrett. But before it was deleted, her tweet read: “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj.”
Her offensive remarks triggered intense backlash, including ABC’s cancellation of her show which had been renewed for a second season.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” said ABC entertainment President Channing Dungey.
Trump’s Twitter response was somewhat surprising after White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee-Sanders said in response to a question about Barr Tuesday that he is focusing on trade, North Korea and other issues and “not responding to other things.”
After saying Tuesday she would stop tweeting, Barr resumed posting, blaming the effects of the sleep medication Ambien for her racist remarks in one of her more than 100 subsequent postings.
“guys I did something unforgiveable so do not defend me. It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended-it was egregious Indefensible. I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but…don’t defend it please.”
The maker of Ambien, Sanofi S.A., responded to Barr’s claim saying, “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”
Iger, who once considered challenging Trump for the presidency in 2020, indeed called Jarrett to inform her about the show’s cancellation.
“He wanted me to know before he made it public that he was canceling the show,” Jarrett said.
Jarrett has not commented on Trump’s response nor has Iger replied to Trump’s suggestion he was treated differently by the network.
Barr’s TV show was a new version of her 1988-97 sitcom “Roseanne.” It returned this year with Barr playing a character who is supportive of President Trump.
Barr in real life is an avid supporter of Trump. He hailed the new show two months ago for its strong ratings.
“Look at her ratings! Look at her ratings,” he said at a speech in Richfield, Ohio. “Over 18 million people,” Trump said, “and it was about us.” They haven’t figured it out yet; the fake news hasn’t quite figured it out yet. They have not figured it out. So that was great.”