Roseanne Barr definitely committed a swift career suicide recently when she tweeted a racist statement during the wee hours one morning about Valerie Jarrett, an African-American woman who was a senior adviser to Barack Obama throughout his presidency and considered one of his most influential aids. Her tweet said that if “the Muslim brotherhood and the planet of the apes had a baby, it would be Valerie Jarrett.”
Ever since her tweet, her highly rated and well-watched revival series “Roseanne” got cancelled by ABC, her talent agency, ILM, separated ties with her, and all the television stations showing syndication of her original show made the decision to promptly remove it from the air.
While I’m all for free speech, I do believe it tends to come with a price these days, especially for those who hold some level of fame and notoriety in this world. So many people are on high alert and extremely sensitive right now with everything from racism to gender equality that it doesn’t take much to negatively sway the majority of the public’s opinion, which is precisely what’s happened with Roseanne ever since her offensive and insensitive tweet.
What’s even worse for Roseanne was her blaming her tweet on the effects of a drug she was taking to help her sleep, that being Ambien. I absolutely applauded the company behind Ambien when they promptly released a statement that said “Racism is not a known side effect of Ambien.”
In all honesty, it’s because of things like this that have frequently come out of Roseanne’s mouth, that I’ve never been one who really enjoyed watching her show. Her abrasive and judgmental personality both in real life and on the show itself has always bothered me. And even though my partner regularly watched the reruns and the revival series of her show in our home on many-a-days, I couldn’t’ stomach it because frankly, I don’t want to support anyone who’s going to make negative statements about someone or something that carries hurtful, racist, and segregating connotations.
With the amount of television programming available nowadays on so many stations, networks, and platforms, an actor or actress, no matter how good they are, or how great their shows are, or how high their ratings end up being, truly doesn’t have the freedom of speech like they might once have had not too long ago.
Nevertheless, with so many being on edge these days, it’s easy to quickly get turned off when a famous person has one of those moments where they spew out verbal diarrhea that’s hurtful towards anyone or anything. Roseanne Barr is just the latest causality of this in a long line of well-known individuals who’ve done something similar. Just ask Kathy Griffin, who not too long ago posted a fake picture on the internet of Donald’s Trump’s bloody head on a platter and watched her career swiftly go down the tubes. Luckily though, Griffin has been on the rebound with her career as of late, but I’m not sure Roseanne will be able to experience the same good fortune.
With Roseanne having been such a polarizing individual with astoundingly strong opinions, political views, and agenda, especially as of late, I judge that a large portion of her remaining fan base is going to be gone for good now, like my partner who agreed this was her final straw.
In the end, yes, we as a culture and a country, do have free speech like I do right here in my blog on a daily basis. But, unlike Barr, I look for the good in everyone and everything and do my best to unconditionally love and accept each and every individual in this world no matter what. And when I make a mistake, because I do, I always promptly make an amends from my heart, which doesn’t seem to be something Barr has gotten in touch with yet.
That’s why I believe Roseanne must face the consequences of her actions and realize she’s living in a world now where free speech comes with a price, a price that networks aren’t willing to carry and a price that people like me aren’t willing to support either.
So, while I believe Barr, like anyone, deserves forgiveness for her insensitive tweet, she and others who verbalize strong statements with racist tones need to learn the value of keeping those opinions off of social media and instead just keeping it all to themselves, as nothing good is ever going to come out of it these days other than a strong price to be paid by them…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson