Media

May 30, 2018

A new bar for ‘acceptable free speech’ in Trump’s America?

ABC has canned the hugely successful Roseanne reboot after an "abhorrent and repugnant" racist tweet. But what's taken them so long?

Glenn Dyer — <em>Crikey</em> business and media commentator

Glenn Dyer

Crikey business and media commentator

The Disney-owned ABC TV network has axed the hit sitcom reboot Roseanne overnight, somewhat belatedly defining the limits of what is acceptable free speech in Donald Trump’s America.

This comes after the star of the show, Roseanne Barr, tweeted a racist remark against former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett: “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”

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6 comments

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6 thoughts on “A new bar for ‘acceptable free speech’ in Trump’s America?

  1. Peter Hannigan

    So – it seems like the bar for bad behaviour is anything worse than Trump’s tweets. So all Roseanne needs to do is persuade her ‘friend’ to lower the bar a bit further. Maybe retweet her.

    1. Vasco

      Nice one PH. Another unhinged gabbler in the twittersphere.

  2. klewso

    I can’t decide which was the funnier? The original tweet or the “apology” – up there with “This is the most humble day of my life” uttered by that clown Rupert Murdoch?

  3. Steve

    Since when is corporate arse-covering equivalent to decency? Anyone with a functioning brain could condemn Barr’s comments and still support (or at the very least tolerate the existence of) her TV series as an entity unto itself. The idea that Disney have any kind of moral backbone is laughable; this is all just a PR thing for them.

  4. Arky

    Most of Roseanne’s other stuff might be stupid and even offensive to thinking people, but simply being a right-wing wingnut who buys into their loonie conspiracy theories (e.g. Pizzagate, Soros etc) and supports other right wing wingnuts is not a crime, and blacklisting her for that would be like the McCarthy era blacklisting of left wingers. We can disagree heavily with Roseanne, we can refuse to watch her show, but blacklisting her?

    Her past “ape” comment was years ago; I’m sure it weighed heavily on ABC when deciding whether or not to give her a chance or not, but people get second chances.

    Obviously, going back to the “ape” well and proving she’s still a racist as well as a crackpot is beyond the pale and it probably would have proved impossible to keep making the show as other cast and crew refused to keep working with her after that.

    Unfortunately this will just give more fuel to all the Trump supporters who feel they are being oppressed and their voices silenced in the mass media. “It’s just a joke!” they will say, not getting why such “jokes” are wrong, harmful and rejected by people who are not assholes.

  5. Bob the builder

    Disturbing how little respect there is for free speech. l couldn’t disagree any more with those comments, but no-one’s forcing me to agree with her, or even listen, and no-one’s stopping anyone from disagreeing with her.
    This sort of censorship plays into the largely fantasy world that right-wingers aren’t allowed to say what they think.

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