Ramadan

As someone who used to admire Roseanne Barr and was a faithful viewer of her 1990s sitcom, I am not getting much pleasure from her sudden downfall today. For those of you who haven’t been checking out the news, here’s the basic gist. Roseanne Barr used to champion the working class and the downtrodden (especially the LGBTQ community) on her old TV show and in her comedy routines. At one point she unsuccessfully attempted to get the Green Party nomination for president.

Ever since Donald Trump decided to run for public office then was elected to the presidency, Roseanne began to declare herself a Trump supporter and, before you know it, she began to champion every single alt-right conspiracy theory that was out there (especially the notorious and now-discredited Pizzagate) on Twitter. She would frequently retweet people like Alex Jones, who spewed crazy conspiracy theories.

This year ABC decided to revive her sitcom, Roseanne, which would feature all of the original cast members of that 1990s sitcom. The show would feature Roseanne’s character being a Trump supporter, just like Barr is in real life. There were plenty of people who were less-than-thrilled by this and the show got mixed reviews ranging from mediocre to awful. But the show was a big hit despite the reviews. (For the record, I didn’t watch her new series mainly because I had become so alienated by her blind loyalty to Donald Trump and her championing crazy alt-right conspiracy theories that I couldn’t even gather enough enthusiasm to watch her new show.)

Meanwhile Roseanne Barr kept up with her offstage antics, such as accusing teenage Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg of being a Nazi on Twitter.

But today the shit really hit the fan. Roseanne made a tweet saying that one of President Obama’s former aides, Valerie Jarrett, was the child of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes film. The fact that Jarrett was born in Iran to African American parents only made it worse. Roseanne deleted the tweet and issued an apology by saying that it was a bad joke but the damage was done. Roseanne’s revived show was cancelled by ABC. The reruns of her original 1990s sitcom were pulled from the Paramount Network, TV Land, and CMT. She even got dropped by her own talent agency.

While I feel sorry for the other actors and crew who lost their jobs (and their residuals from the old sitcom), Roseanne gets zero sympathy from me. She should’ve known better that to make that ape comparison with an African American. I used to faithfully watch her show in the 1990’s because she stood up for working folks of all races (her old sitcom had working class African American characters who were portrayed in a positive light) and LGBTQ in an era when both groups were either ignored or, in the case of the latter, discriminated against. I was such a fan that I watched her series until midway through the ninth season when that show began to get too weird for my tastes. I also watched a few of Roseanne’s specials on HBO because I could relate to her and her humor.

Here is why Roseanne Barr resonated so much with me. I grew up in Glen Burnie, Maryland, which was a mix of lower middle class and working class. There were no mansions or upscale stores like Saks Fifth Avenue where I grew up. My family encountered financial struggles at times, especially with the inflation periods of the 1970s, that were similar to what Roseanne’s sitcom family went through. I had high school classmates who married young just like Roseanne’s eldest sitcom daughter did. I had other classmates who joined the military immediately after high school in an effort to escape to a different life. (I remember the military recruiters who used to set up tables in my high school cafeteria a few times a year so the students can talk to them during lunch period.) I knew people in my Unitarian Universalist congregation who came out as LGBTQ in an era when doing so could adversely affect their lives in many ways. (This was in the 1980s and 1990s when AIDS was prevalent and there was a conservative backlash to the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s.) Roseanne bravely featured LGBTQ characters in a positive sympathetic light in her sitcom back when it wasn’t the trendy thing to do. I am a woman with a less-than-perfectly shaped body while Roseanne became a major star despite being obese at times and she remained a star without having a perfect 10 body. I definitely identified with Roseanne Barr. I even followed her on Twitter at one point.

All that changed when Trump entered politics and she became his biggest celebrity supporter. She totally changed—for the worst. Late last year I decided to unfollow her on Twitter because I felt so alienated from her and the alt-right conspiracy garbage she was tweeting on a regular basis.

It’s just like what Shepard Smith of Fox News said, “Racism is not funny and Roseanne Barr is a racist.” The biggest irony is that the 1990s Roseanne would have gone full social justice warrior mode on the 2018 Roseanne. As for me, I’m done with her.

Fuck you, Roseanne Barr.

Bye, Felicia!

UPDATE (June 1, 2018): Roseanne initially blamed Ambien for her unfunny racist joke tweet aimed at Valerie Jarrett, which prompted this classy response from the drug’s manufacturer.

Oh, SNAP! Whoever at Sanofi came up with that tweet deserves a raise. When the Ambient defense failed to take hold, Roseanne Barr started to blame Michelle Obama for her series getting canned.

Bitch, please! If Roseanne really wants to find out who is to blame for her current predicament, she should just stand in front of a mirror and she’ll get her answer. By the way, I read this blog post from a woman who once worked as Roseanne’s stand-in for three years on the original 1990s sitcom and, boy, does she have a story to tell!

UPDATE (July 22, 2018): Roseanne released this video where she attempted to explain the Valerie Jarrett tweet that got her fired. I would strongly advise you to lower your computer speakers before playing this clip because she definitely screams in this video.

Yesterday she released another video where she’s way more calm about her side of the story.

She implied that ABC got rid of her because she is a Donald Trump supporter. Here’s the thing—it had long been common public knowledge that Roseanne is a Trump supporter. ABC knew that she is a Trump supporter before they decided to put her revived sitcom on the air. If ABC had been so opposed to Roseanne being a Trump supporter that they didn’t want her associated with the network at all, they would have never revived her sitcom in the first place.

So, once again, fuck you, Roseanne Barr!

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