Disney′s ABC network cancels Roseanne Barr show after racist tweets | News | DW | 29.05.2018
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Disney's ABC network cancels Roseanne Barr show after racist tweets

US network ABC has canceled the successful relaunch of Roseanne after its star alleged George Soros was a Nazi collaborator and compared a former presidential aide to an ape. A new season was in the works.

The Disney Media Networks subsidiary had come under pressure after a series of tweets by 65-year-old comedian Roseanne Barr, whose career had been rebooted by the ABC TV network in the US.

The first new Roseanne series ended last week and work on 13 new episodes had been due to start on Tuesday.

Instead, a statement from Channing Dungey, the president of ABC entertainment on Tuesday, indicated the show had been axed: "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show."

The targets of Barr, a supporter of President Donald Trump, had included Valerie Jarrett, a top former aide to President Obama. Barr linked Jarrett, an American attorney who was born in Iran, with the Muslim Brotherhood and the film Planet of the Apes.

One of the program's consulting producers, Wanda Sykes, had said she would not be returning to the show.

Barr also made comments about Chelsea Clinton who she claimed was "Chelsea Soros Clinton," married to the nephew of Hungarian billionaire philanthropist George Soros.

Clinton was quick to correct the error, saying her middle name was Victoria: "I imagine George Soros's nephews are lovely people. I'm just not married to one. I am grateful for the important work @OpenSociety does in the world."

Attacking George Soros

Barr then went on to claim that Soros had collaborated during the German occupation of Hungary, when he would have been aged 11 years old :  "By the way, George Soros is a nazi who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered in German concentration camps & stole their wealth-were you aware of that? But, we all make mistakes, right Chelsea?"

There was a speedy response online from people rebutting Barr's claims against Soros: "George Soros was 13 years old when Nazi Germany occupied his native Hungary in March 1944 (Note the retweet by @DonaldJTrumpJr)."

The first episode of Roseanne gathered 18 million viewers, and a complimentary call from the president himself. By the end of the series viewer numbers had dropped to 10 million.

Civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson asked: ".@ABC, how desperate are you to profit from Roseanne's racism? We know racism sells in this country, it always has. But you don't have to participate in it," he tweeted. "This apology is meaningless. Cancel Roseanne."

The network's response to end the show has been met with thousands of positive responses online.

jm/msh (AFP, AP)

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