WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has finally waded into the discussion surrounding the cancellation of “Roseanne” in the wake of titular comedian Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet.
In a tweet Wednesday, Trump pointed to a phone call that Disney CEO Bob Iger placed to former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to apologize for Barr’s tweet and to inform her the ABC sitcom would be canceled.
Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that “ABC does not tolerate comments like those” made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
It is unclear what statements the president was referring to.
Last year, ABC News correspondent Brian Ross falsely reported that Trump instructed adviser Michael Flynn to contact Russian officials during the campaign.
The network offered an on-air and online correction clarifying that the request was made after the election and offered an apology.
In a since-deleted post on Tuesday, Barr replied to a tweet about Jarrett — who is black — with the comment: “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”
Barr apologized for the tweet, stating that it was simply a joke, but amid a wave of outrage ABC announced that her sitcom is being canceled.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” Channing Dungey, the president of ABC Entertainment, said in a statement.
Iger, whose company owns ABC, said the cancellation was the “right thing.”
From Channing Dungey, President of ABC Entertainment: “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”
There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) May 29, 2018
Tuesday night during an MSNBC town hall on racism, Jarrett disclosed the phone call that Iger placed to her before the cancellation was announced.
Barr has since taken to Twitter to share messages from her supporters, highlight conspiracy theories and, in a since-deleted post, blame the sleep-aid Ambien for the tweets.
“It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended,” Barr tweeted.
The Twitter account for the prescription medication’s manufacturer shot back with a heavy dose of snark.
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
The sitcom, a reboot of the popular program that debuted in 1988, has garnered conservative support since it depicts Barr’s character as a Trump supporter. The show proved to be a huge ratings boon for the network, with a whopping 18.2 million people tuning in to the March 27 premiere. Trump went so far as to call Barr to congratulate her.
On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders brushed aside questions on Trump’s reaction to the cancellation.
“That’s not what he’s spending his time on,” Sanders told reporters aboard Air Force One. “And I think that we have a lot bigger things going on in the country right now, certainly that the president is spending his time when it comes to policy.”
ABC has already deleted from its website any references to “Roseanne” or the show’s star.