It’s been a disastrous few weeks for Roseanne Barr.
Since then, the former Roseanne star hasn’t been able to get herself out of hot water. From her controversial remark to how her co-stars have reacted — and how a Roseanne spinoff rose from the ashes — ET breaks down everything that’s happened (so far) during the ongoing fallout.
The Initial Tweet
The scandal all started on May 29, when Barr posted the following tweet: “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”
Barr was referring to Jarrett, who is black and was born in Iran. The tweet has since been deleted.
The First Apology
As people flooded her mentions, Barr apologized and proclaimed she was leaving Twitter.
“I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans,” she emphasized in another tweet. “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.”
However, her break from Twitter didn’t last long, as she was back on social media within a few hours of that post.
“Don’t feel sorry for me, guys!!” she said upon her return. “I just want to apologize to the hundreds of people, and wonderful writers (all liberal) and talented actors who lost their jobs on my show due to my stupid tweet.”
ABC Cancels Roseanne
Shortly after the backlash began, ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey revealed the network was canceling the sitcom in a statement released to the press.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” the statement read.
“There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing,” Disney-ABC Chairman and CEO Bob Iger added on Twitter.
Additionally, ABC removed all references to the revival series on its press site and Viacom pulled all reruns of the sitcom’s entire run from all of its channels.
Two days later, Barr claimed she “begged” ABC executives not to cancel the popular series.
“I begged [Disney-ABC Television Group President] Ben Sherwood at ABC to let me apologize and make amend[s],” she wrote in a now-deleted tweet. “I begged them not to cancel the show. I told them I was willing to do anything and 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.”
ICM Drops Barr as a Client
The talent agency that previously represented Barr sent a note to their employees on May 29, notifying them of the actress’ abrupt termination.
“We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning,” the memo read. “What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency. Consequently, we have notified her that we will not represent her. Effective immediately, Roseanne Barr is no longer a client.”
Stars From the Sitcom Speak Out
It wasn’t long before Twitter erupted with reactions from Barr’s Roseanne co-stars, condemning her for the racist remark that led ABC to pull the plug on their show.
A production source told ET at the time that those who worked on the show were “horrified,” and felt that perhaps the reboot “wasn’t meant to be.”
“As I called my manager to quit working on Roseanne, I was told it was cancelled,” Emma Kenney, who played Barr’s granddaughter, Harris Conner-Healy, on the sitcom wrote in a series of tweets. “I am hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed. The racist and distasteful comments from Roseanne are inexcusable.”
As I called my manager to quit working on Roseanne, I was told it was cancelled. I feel so empowered by @iamwandasykes , Channing Dungey and anyone at ABC standing up for morals and abuse of power. Bullies will NEVER win.
— Emma Kenney (@EmmaRoseKenney) May 29, 2018
I am hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed. The racist and distasteful comments from Roseanne are inexcusable.
— Emma Kenney (@EmmaRoseKenney) May 29, 2018
Kenney’s onscreen mother, Sara Gilbert (Darlene), also weighed in, writing, “Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least.”
“This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love — one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member,” she added.
Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least.
— sara gilbert (@THEsaragilbert) May 29, 2018
This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love— one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member.
— sara gilbert (@THEsaragilbert) May 29, 2018
And according to Michael Fishman — who played Barr’s onscreen son, D.J., in both the original series and the revival — May 29 was “one of the hardest days” of his life.
“I feel devastated, not for the end of the Roseanne show, but for all those who poured their hearts and souls into our jobs, and the audience that welcomed us into their homes,” he explained. “Our cast, crew, writers, and production staff strived for inclusiveness, with numerous storylines designed to reflect inclusiveness. The words of one person do not exemplify the thinking of all involved. I condemn these statements vehemently.”
— Michael Fishman (@ReelMFishman) May 29, 2018
Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer on the show, was actually one of the first to speak out. Before ABC even announced the cancellation, Sykes exclaimed via Twitter that she would “not be returning to @RoseanneABC.”
I will not be returning to @RoseanneOnABC.
— Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) May 29, 2018
Read more celebrity reactions (HERE).
Valerie Jarrett Responds
After being the target of Barr’s racist tweet, Jarrett appeared on MSNBC for a town hall discussing “Everyday Racism in America.”
“Tone does start at the top, and we like to look up to our president and feel as though he reflects the values of our country,” Jarrett said during the town hall discussion with hosts Joy Reid and Chris Hayes. “But I also think that every individual citizen has a responsibility too. And it’s up to all of us to push back — our government is only going to be as good as we make it be.”
“People on the inside have to push hard, and people on the outside have to listen,” she continued. “I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment. I’m fine.”
BREAKING: @ValerieJarrett responds to Roseanne Barr’s tweet. See more tonight at 9PM ET as @chrislhayes & @JoyAnnReid host @MSNBC’s town hall tonight to discuss #EverydayRacism in America. pic.twitter.com/8rQqnKX8fU
— 11th Hour (@11thHour) May 29, 2018
According to MSNBC, the hope of the town hall was to “open a national dialogue” by addressing the state of “racial bias in society and what can be done to effect change.”
Barr Apologizes Again; Blames Ambien
In a new series of apologetic tweets, Barr claimed her controversial remark was a result of her tweeting under the influence of the prescription sleep aid Ambien.
“Guys I did something unforgivable so do not defend me,” Barr tweeted the night of May 29. “It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweetin.”
“It was Memorial Day too,” she added. “I went too far and do not want it defended-it was egregious Indefensible. I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but…don’t defend it please. Ty.”
Sanofi, the pharmaceutical company behind Ambien, released its own statement via Twitter shortly after: “People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world. While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”
People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world. While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.
— Sanofi US (@SanofiUS) May 30, 2018
ABC showrunner Shonda Rhimes also tweeted in response to Barr’s Ambien allegation, writing, “Omg. I used to take Ambien! How many times was I racist in my sleep?! GIRL BYE. #ownyouractions.”
Barr Continues to Defend Herself and Insists She’s ‘Not a Racist’
The comedian was back at it again on May 30, attempting to explain her tweet about Jarrett even further.
“I’m not a racist, I never was & I never will be,” she exclaimed. “One stupid joke in a lifetime of fighting 4 civil rights 4 all minorities, against networks, studios, at the expense of my nervous system/family/wealth will NEVER b taken from me.”
I’m not a racist, I never was & I never will be. One stupid joke in a lifetime of fighting 4 civil rights 4 all minorities, against networks, studios, at the expense of my nervous system/family/wealth will NEVER b taken from me.
— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 30, 2018
She also tweeted back to some of her co-stars, specifically calling out Gilbert and Fishman for not having her back. To Fishman she wrote, “I created the platform for that inclusivity and you know it. ME. You throw me under the bus. nice!”
Her reply to Gilbert was a bit simpler. “Wow! unreal,” she tweeted.
John Goodman Breaks His Silence
Meanwhile, Barr’s onscreen husband, John Goodman (Dan), was spotted at an auto repair shop in New Orleans on May 30. In footage obtained by ET, the actor cautiously reacted to the drama.
“[I’d] rather say nothing than to cause more trouble,” he said, adding that he’s doing OK amid the controversy. “Everything’s fine.”
Around the same time our article was published, Barr praised Goodman and another one of their co-stars, Laurie Metcalf, via Twitter.
“I just wish ABC had not thrown two of the greatest actors in the world out with me – Laurie and John,” she wrote. “I’m so sick over this – they will never have better character actors on their network.”
Barr Cancels Scheduled Podcast Interview
The Salt Lake City, Utah, native was expected to share her side of the story on comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, on June 1.
Rogan took to Twitter early Friday, however, to reveal Barr would no longer be joining him. “The Roseanne podcast is not happening today,” he shared. “She’s not doing well and doesn’t want to travel, and she’s gone radio silent on me, so I’m just going to step away.”
“The whole thing has been pretty brutal on her, and I hope she can find some peace,” he added.
The Roseanne podcast is not happening today. She’s not doing well and doesn’t want to travel, and she’s gone radio silent on me, so I’m just going to step away. The whole thing has been pretty brutal on her, and I hope she can find some peace.
— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) June 1, 2018Spinoff Rumors Spark
Since Roseanne got the boot, rumors circulated that the show could possibly continue in the form of a spinoff, focusing on other characters from the series.
A source told ET on May 30 that the possibility of a Roseanne spinoff show (without Barr) wasn’t necessarily off the table. “There are very tentative conversations, in very early stages about the possibility of a spinoff, but it is much too early,” the source said at the time.
Another source told ET on June 1 that ABC is continuing talks with producers about trying to save jobs by finding a way to reprise and rebrand Roseanne into a new show possibly centered on other characters from the cast.
Sara Gilbert Speaks Out in First TV Appearance After Cancellation
Gilbert candidly opened up about the scandal on the June 4 episode of The Talk, saying that she stood by ABC’s decision to cancel the show.
“In addition to my statement, I would like to say that this has been a very difficult week,” she said. “A lot of people have been hurt by this. I will say I am proud of the show we made. The show has always been about love, diversity and inclusion and it’s sad to see it end in this way. I am sad for the people who lost their jobs in the process. However, I do stand behind the decision that ABC made.”
Barr Speaks Out About Cancellation
On June 5, Barr declared that she was “making restitution for the pain I have caused,” as a source with knowledge of the situation told ET that ABC and Roseanne producers were in serious discussions about spinning off the show without her.
According to the source, multiple ideas were being discussed behind closed doors and “it is more than likely the entire cast (minus Barr) and crew would return” if an agreement on a reboot can be made, and that conversations were “moving swiftly.”
Barr Attempts to Smooth Things Over With Co-Stars
By June 19, a source told ET that Barr had been reaching out personally to former cast and crew members of Roseanne to apologize. According to the source, on at least one occassion, Barr “broke down” during the call, and that in particular, Barr was worried about actress Jayden Rey.
The young star played Barr’s onscreen granddaughter, Mary, on the show, and ET’s source said Barr was mortified to think she doesn’t love her because of the color of her skin. The source noted that there remained a lot of confusion by those who know Barr, because the racist behavior exhibited by her on Twitter is not the woman they knew.
Roseanne Spinoff Ordered to Series
Just two days later, ABC announced they had formally ordered a Roseanne spinoff, tentatively titled The Conners, for 10 episodes to premiere this fall. Goodman, Metcalf, Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Fishman were all confirmed to reprise their iconic characters, and sources told ET that the hope is to have Rey, Ames McNamara and Kenney return, but their deals are not done yet. Barr will not receive any financial compensation or have any creative input in the series.
In a statement to ET, Barr said, “I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from Roseanne. I agreed to the settlement in order that 200 jobs of beloved cast and crew could be saved, and I wish the best for everyone involved.”
Meanwhile, a synopsis of the new show led many to wonder how Barr’s absence would be addressed — and whether her character would be killed off.
A source told ET that many questions about the content of The Conners are still to be determined, including how Barr’s character will be written off, whether or not she’ll be referred to at all during the course of the new show and whether we’ll see guest actors such as Estelle Parsons and Sandra Bernhard on the spinoff. The writers are being assembled, the source said, and once the room is up and running they’ll begin to tackle a lot of these questions.
Watch the video below for more.