ABC has canceled the new version of the hit show Roseanne today, because Roseanne Barr made an extremely racist joke on Twitter where she compared former Obama administration adviser and black woman Valerie Jarrett to the child of the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes. (It’s been a long time since I’ve heard something that racist.) Obviously this hits Roseanne hard – but it’s an even bigger blow to President Trump than you might think at first.
Roseanne got a new version of her old show for just one reason: she’s a very outspoken Trump supporter. TV networks have a difficult time figuring out exactly how to get Trump’s racist base to tune in, since how do you make a show to cater to such disgusting people and not offend mainstream Americans? ABC thought Roseanne was a rare safe bet on how to access Trump’s base. She was a mainstream icon long before she spent several decades saying racist hate speech and xenophobic things, so perhaps it would all get overlooked.
For a few months, that actually worked well. Roseanne’s ratings were strong right out of the gate, because Trump’s base watched to see their racist heroine Roseanne Barr. Her ratings dropped after the novelty wore off, but were still plenty strong. ABC was making a lot of money.
However, after Roseanne Barr’s shockingly racist tweet, ABC took about 60 seconds to cancel Roseanne. Sure, ABC is giving up all the money it might have made thanks to her show’s consistent strong ratings. But they would have lost much more money in the long run because of advertisers blacklisting them, and mainstream Americans refusing to watch the network’s other shows as a protest. It was likely the simplest decision ABC has ever made. But it was an expensive choice nonetheless. More importantly, it proved that the choice to give a show to a proudly racist Trump supporter had always been a bad idea.
The other mega media corporations will learn from that mistake. Sure, they would love to tap into Trump’s racist base too, because ratings are ratings and TV is a competitive industry. But they can look at how it just exploded in ABC’s face. Roseanne just ruined it for the rest of Donald Trump’s bottom feeders. Corporations aren’t going to bet big on Trump supporters with a history of racist comments ever again.
This gets worse for Trump. Even while Trump says and does one extremely racist thing after another, most of his base likes to lie and say that there is nothing racist about Trump. Well, one of Donald Trump’s most famous sycophants got her show canceled because she made a joke about one of Barack Obama’s black advisers being a Muslim ape. It doesn’t get much more racist than that. Trump’s base will have a lot more trouble now when they lie that neither Trump nor they are hateful racists.