ABC acted decisively in canceling “Roseanne” earlier this week after its star and executive producer came under fire for a racist tweet, but Roseanne Barr said Thursday that she “begged” the network to go another way.
Barr wrote on Twitter that she asked Disney-ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood to give her a chance to apologize for the tweet and find a way to survive the scandal without losing her show.
“I begged Ben Sherwood at ABC [to] let me apologize & make amends,” Barr wrote. “I begged them not to cancel the show. I told them I was willing to do anything & asked [for] help in making things right. I’d worked doing publicity [for] them [for] free for weeks, traveling, thru bronchitis. I begged [for people’s] jobs.”
Barr was the subject of much criticism earlier this week for a tweet comparing former Barack Obama aide Valerie Jarrett, who is black, to “Planet of the Apes” and the Muslim Brotherhood. Within hours ABC announced that it had canceled “Roseanne” in response, with network boss Channing Dungey calling the tweet “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.”
The decision came at high cost for the network; “Roseanne” was the most-watched show on television last season, and was set to anchor its Tuesday-night lineup in the fall. About 200 people who were employed on the second season show found themselves out of work.
As TheWrap previously reported, Barr issued a mea culpa on a call with some of the top executives who would decide the fate of her show, offering to publicly apologize for the now-deleted tweet. However, as Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted on Tuesday, the group ultimately decided “there was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.”
I begged Ben Sherwood at ABC 2 let me apologize & make amends. I begged them not to cancel the show. I told them I was willing to do anything & asked 4 help in making things right. I'd worked doing publicity4 them 4free for weeks, traveling, thru bronchitis. I begged4 ppls jobs.
— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 31, 2018