News & Politics

Was the 'Roseanne' Reboot Really Canceled Over Her Tweet?

Roseanne Barr hands out nuts at Chelsea Market to promote her show 'Roseanne's Nuts' premiering on the Lifetime network on July 13, 2011 in New York City. (Dennis Van Tine/MediaPunch /IPX)

I’m not here to defend what Roseanne said, but I am going to discuss what this is really about, and why we should be concerned about it. I believe that as far as ABC is concerned, Roseanne Barr’s real crime is not what she tweeted… it was just the cover they needed to kibosh the show featuring—can you imagine—a pro-Trump character!  In response to Roseanne’s tweet, Valerie Jarrett said, “I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment. “Perhaps we do, but not for the same reason she claims.

Former 2012 GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain says he believes ABC was just looking for a reason to ax Roseanne, and they got it. Ali Alexander, a longtime conservative political strategist who spoke with PJ Media about Roseanne, agrees. “Corporations and the institutional left are one of the same,” he said. “They seek a monopoly on commerce and culture so that no opposing voices can disrupt their respective markets.”

But, while Cain believes Roseanne’s tweet was racist, Alexander does not, though he believes it was insensitive. “Look, I’ve called out racists within both parties and especially within racist Hollywood,” he said. “Barr doesn’t have a history of racist attacks or supporting systems of racism.  She’s has fought for many. If her intent was to racially malign a multiracial political pariah, I’m sure she would’ve done it with more clarity and bigotry.” Alexander, who is black and also has Arab ancestry, thinks the real issue is being missed. “To not talk about the very real, very clear targeting (akin to what is called malicious prosecution in legal circles) by ABC in the same breath as whatever your conclusion is on Barr’s comments is robbing this conversation of its proper due. That’s exactly what they want.”

This is really no different than what happened with Milo Yiannopoulos and his former publisher. They were getting raked over the coals for their decision to even publish the book and the moment they were handed a reason to drop him they took it. Tim Allen’s show Last Man Standing is another great example. Though Allen never said anything offensive, most people believe his (and his character’s) support of Trump was the reason for the popular show’s cancellation. For a show that had no problem incorporating the 2012 presidential election into storylines, the 2016 election was surprisingly absent, save for the last Halloween episode featuring Tim Allen dressed up like Donald Trump. That must have been too much for ABC to stomach.

But, what happened to Roseanne isn’t the real issue here. Her real crime wasn’t a tasteless tweet, it was supporting Trump. Despite the Roseanne reboot’s high ratings, ABC was clearly uncomfortable with the show and had previously promised to dial back the politics for the second season. I watched the reboot, and with the exception of the pilot episode, politics was by no means a central theme of the show. Still, Roseanne rebuffed ABC executives on the direction of the second season in a tweet the following day.

Coincidence? Doubtful. If it wasn’t the Valerie Jarrett tweet, it would have been something else that would have prompted ABC to cancel the show. But, the Valerie Jarrett tweet gave ABC the ammunition they needed to ax a show they really didn’t want to keep anyway. And now Roseanne reruns are being pulled from syndication, and the reboot has been removed from Hulu. This cancelation doesn’t hurt just Roseanne Barr, but everyone involved in the show who is now out of a job and/or earned syndication royalties.

Jon Del Arroz, the leading Hispanic voice in science fiction, award-winning author, and political conservative, believes ABC exposed their own hypocrisy by giving Roseanne the boot so quickly and completely. “Based on the way they ignore the transgressions of their leftist talent, the double standard ABC holds toward Roseanne makes it clear this is about politics and they were looking for a reason to destroy her,” he told PJ Media.

The real problem with this lynch mob mentality is that the left refuses to distinguish between real racism and political views that are different from their own. Roseanne’s tweets aside, Trump—and anyone who supports him—has been unjustly labeled a racist. So, think about it… when they call us racists it’s really their way of saying we don’t have the right to exist and that our lives and livelihoods ought to be destroyed. According to Del Arroz, “The establishment media won’t tolerate anyone on the center or right and are afraid of their own audiences who are revolting by watching shows like Roseanne and not their other content.” Roseanne is just a high-profile target who handed her enemies the ammunition. But, eventually, anyone who is a Trump supporter or is politically conservative will find lives uprooted somehow with claims of racism or some other phony sin.

I get called a racist constantly. My real crime is that I’ve written two anti-Obama books exposing his scandal-plagued administration and his horrible record as president. Despite tons of research backed up by hundreds and hundreds of sources, I get trolls posting phony negative reviews on Amazon written with the hope of marginalizing my books and scaring potential readers away. Roughly 1 out of 5 of the reviews on The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama are bogus 1-star reviews. Had I not reported dozens of them to Amazon and had them removed there’d be even more. One surviving review says the book is “designed to appeal to every disgruntled racist.” Another describes it as a book “written by an Obama hater who might possibly be a racist in choosing to devalue our first African-American president’s accomplishments.” Another says, “This is a book [for] racists and haters.”

Do you get it? Opposing Obama is racist. Supporting Trump is racist. By branding my books as racist, they are really attempting to justify censoring it. Actor Billy Baldwin (brother of Alec Baldwin) has now twice told me he’d like to burn my book.

You know who else burned books? Exactly. But, such actions are okay for the left as long as they are censoring views that trigger them. We can debate whether or not Roseanne’s tweet was racist and/or stupid, but how many people who are pro-Trump or politically conservative get falsely branded as racists and find themselves and their livelihoods targeted as a result? The left is attempting to silence pro-Trump and conservative voices in pop culture. When their monopoly is threatened, they go on offense. You don’t have to defend Roseanne or her tweet, but defend the right of conservatives and Trump supporters to contribute to pop culture—that’s what’s really under attack.

Matt Margolis is the author of the new book, The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis