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

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.