ABC President Details ‘Roseanne’ Cancellation: We ‘Had Multiple Instances’ With Roseanne Barr

Roseanne Barr on ABC's 'Roseanne'.
Roseanne Barr on ABC's 'Roseanne'. Getty Images

It wasn’t hard for ABC to part ways with Roseanne Barr following her racist tweet in May, Channing Dungey explained to multiple outlets during the Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday, August 7.

“It was actually made very swiftly, and what I’m going to have to say is that it was nice that it was so clear to everyone that there wasn’t a lot of debate and discussion about it,” she told Deadline. “We knew what we wanted to do, and we did it. For us, we have had multiple instances with Roseanne, and certainly this tweet crossed the line that cannot be crossed, but it was for us a sense of enough is enough and something had to be done.”

Dungey and ABC pulled the plug on Roseanne on May 29, just hours after the comedian tweeted that former White House aide Valerie Jarrett looked like a combination of “Muslim Brotherhood + Planet of the Apes.” However, that tweet was one of many issues, according to Dungey.

While the Roseanne reboot received huge ratings for the network, “it wasn’t that difficult” to end it, Dungey told The Hollywood Reporter. “It felt like a line had been crossed and we needed to stand by our values as a company.”

Channing Dungey, ABC Entertainment President.
Channing Dungey, ABC Entertainment President. Getty Images

“It’s not a secret that she has had a tendency in the past to be sort of outspoken and go off-book. We’ve had multiple conversations about wanting to keep the focus on the show and not to let some of the other stuff eclipse the show. So, in some ways, this was a last straw,” Dungey continued. “But it was also such an egregious tweet that it felt like no matter what, there would have been some action that we would have taken.”

Barr, 65, has no financial or creative involvement in the spinoff of Roseanne. The Conners is set to premiere on ABC Tuesday, October 16, at 8 p.m. ET.

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