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ABC Cancels 'Roseanne' Show over Racist Remark


Roseanne Barr arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Roseanne" on Friday, March 23, 2018 in Burbank, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
ABC Cancels 'Roseanne' Show over Racist Remark
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The American television network ABC has canceled its top-rated show, “Roseanne.” The network made its decision shortly after the show’s star, Roseanne Barr, published a racist tweet.

Early Tuesday, Barr wrote on Twitter, “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”

“VJ” is Valerie Jarrett, who served as an adviser to former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. She is African American. Barr’s tweet suggested she was a cross between the Muslim Brotherhood and the movie “Planet of the Apes.”

Barr made note of Jarrett in answer to Twitter comments about conspiracy theories during Obama’s presidency. Conservative Twitter users had brought up Jarrett as being connected to those conspiracies.

Social media users immediately criticized Barr’s tweet. She later deleted it.

She also later apologized, tweeting, "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."

The president of ABC Entertainment, Channing Dungey, said Barr’s comment was “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel the show.”

Disney chairman Bob Iger supported the decision. He wrote, “There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.” Disney is the parent company of ABC.

Congressman John Lewis is a well-known American civil rights leader. He wrote, “Thank you, @ABCNetwork. You did the right thing. There is not any room in our society for racism or bigotry.”

While reporting on ABC’s decision to cancel the show, Shep Smith of the Fox network said, “Racism is not funny and Roseanne Barr is a racist.”

“Roseanne” is about a working-class family. The series first aired on ABC from 1988 to 1997. It was among the most-watched television shows in the United States during its nine seasons.

The latest season of the show was a surprising success. It was the highest-rated and the most-watched series among broadcast networks.

The revival had been especially popular with conservative viewers. Barr was the show’s lead writer. She also played the lead character, who was a supporter of President Donald Trump.

I’m Ashley Thompson.

In this image released by ABC, Roseanne Barr, left, and John Goodman appear in a scene from the reboot of "Roseanne," premiering on Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST. (Adam Rose/ABC via AP)
In this image released by ABC, Roseanne Barr, left, and John Goodman appear in a scene from the reboot of "Roseanne," premiering on Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST. (Adam Rose/ABC via AP)

Hai Do wrote this story for VOA Learning English with additional reporting from AP. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

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Words in This Story

racist - adj. a belief that some races of people are better than others

ape - n. an animal closely related to monkeys and humans

conspiracy - n. a secret plan to do something that is harmful or illegal

abhorrent - adj. deserving strong dislike or hatred

repugnant - adj. causing a strong feeling of disgust

inconsistent - adj. not in agreement with something

bigotry - n. an act or belief of hate against members of a particular racial or religious group

revival - n. a new production of an old show

character - n. a person who appears in a show, movie, book, etc.

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