What’s the difference between Donald Trump and Roseanne Barr?
Hours after a racist tweet and an apology, she’s been dumped by ABC.
The response against her was swift and severe and praised after her offensive comment about Valerie Jarrett, a top adviser to former President Barack Obama.
It also bears some resemblance to the swift reaction to Donald Trump faced in 2015 after he made racist comments about Mexicans as he kicked off his presidential campaign.
He was dumped by NBC and various other business relationships in short order.
The difference is that Trump was launching a campaign and Barr, a Trump supporter, was venting about politics. She has lost her show. He was able to weather the corporate storm and was ultimately elected President.
There’s no such political movement in line for Barr, who mounted a fringe run for President in 2012. But there is definite similarity in the swift backlash after horrible remarks.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said in a statement.
And that, apparently, was it. We’ll have to see what comes of the details, but it would seem that in this case, the network TV bosses could not live with Roseanne’s racism, and hours after her tweets, she was fired.
Roseanne’s racist tweets and her channeling of Trump are distinct aspects of this story.
But it is hard to separate the two. Her tweets were in the service of defending him. The White House has not issued a comment on the cancellation.
It wasn’t too long ago that she was lauded for bringing the angst of middle America, and particularly Trump voters, to TV. She has gushed about Trump in selling the show. And he gushed back about her ratings.
And yet, if you think back to the not too distant past, you can recall a time when Trump said something that was undeniably racist and corporate America rebelled. And then he got elected President.
After Trump used the infamous “rapists” line in his campaign kickoff in mid-June of 2015, two weeks later, he got dumped by NBC.
“Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump,” the company said in a statement. They later brought back a short-lived version of The Apprentice with former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Trump role.
Macy’s dropped his clothing line.
He got into a huge fight with Univision over the Miss USA pageant and a legal battle with the celebrity chef Jose Andres.
The PGA pulled a tournament from his course in Florida and moved it to Mexico instead. Politics had nothing to do with it, according to the tour. A sponsor, rather, could not be found.
For Trump, there were serious consequences for his comment at the time. And some of them continue. Others have faded.
The Senior PGA, for instance, held a tournament at his course outside Washington, DC, last year. The final rounds were broadcast on NBC.
I don’t think there’s a lesson to be learned in there, other than this great American experiment can yield some really unexpected results.