Tweet what you want, but be ready to face consequences of the message. Roseanne learned the hard way; racism is a line some media outlets won't tolerate. Sure, ABC will lose money for dropping the successful 90s reboot of 'Roseanne,' but the decision made, for optics rather than anything else, showed the power of social media backlash.
This morning Roseanne tweeted what she later called a "joke" about former-President Obama official Valarie Jarret with an ape/Muslim reference. Historically, Blacks, in general, have been compared to monkeys by racists. It's a way to dehumanize African-Americans. And, the racial context of the animal reference is a hurtful one. Being hurt isn't a reason to ban free speech. To be clear: no one is banning freedom of expression. The First Amendment concerns punishment by the government for offensive speech, not a punishment from private corporations.
Today's tweet isn't the first controversial tweet sent by the actor. In fact, Roseanne has a history of calling Black women monkeys. ABC knew of her racist past, yet hired her anyway. But today's tweet finally crossed the line. Public outraged canceled the show, not principle.
In 2013, Roseanne called former-President Obama official Susan Rice a "man with big ape balls." Mrs. Barr doesn't see blacks as human beings, but apes she can tease.
But that's not it, earlier today, Roseanne also called holocaust era Jewish billionaire George Soros a Nazi - accusing him of helping Nazis kill Jews.
This type of rhetoric should not be respected, accepted or tolerated.
Watch MSNBC exclusive: Valerie Jarrett responds to Roseanne Barr's tweet— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) May 29, 2018
(full remarks will be aired during tonight's "Everyday Racism in America" town-hall) pic.twitter.com/dm0AI0pndX
"What we're seeing now is just the result of the normalization of racism, which was something Donald Trump did during the campaign ..." @ZerlinaMaxwell w/ @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/N1xZbD6F1K— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) May 29, 2018