ABC executives are rethinking their decision to fire Rosanne Barr from her self-titled, record-breaking show.
“We didn’t think it through properly. What Roseanne did was wrong but we shouldn’t have rushed to fire her. It was almost a knee-jerk reaction by Ben (Sherwood) and Channing (Dungey) who should have launched an investigation,” one insider said, according to the Daily Mail.
“This would have given them more time to listen to the public, advertisers and cast members to determine the best decision.”
The network revived the show earlier this year, to record-breaking ratings and avid support, especially from their conservative base.
ABC then canceled it just weeks later, after Barr made an offensive comment on Twitter about a former Obama administration official.
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The comment that got Barr fired from the reboot of her own show was a tweet that compared Valery Jarret, and adviser to former President Barack Obama, to what it would look like if “Muslim brotherhood & Planet of the Apes had a baby.”
ABC executives called her comments “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.”
However, the network seems to be rethinking their reaction, following the backlash from viewers, who aren’t expected to watch the spinoff program, “The Connors,” which will debut next week.
Barr apologized for her comments but allowed herself to be removed from the show, saying that she “agreed to the settlement in order that 200 jobs of beloved cast and crew could be saved, and I wish the best for everyone involved,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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One insider at ABC told the Daily Mail that someone suggested the network should instead have temporarily suspended Barr instead of immediately firing her.
“They could’ve suspended her from the first few episodes without pay and had her return later on in the season,” the source explained.
“I mean the season finale saw Roseanne going to the hospital for knee surgery. While they worked out her fate, her character could have faced serious complications and fought for her life, while simultaneously making Roseanne fight for her career with a national apology tour.”
The Daily Mail’s source further explained that their reaction was because of how they thought that fans would react and that they could have waited to see how Barr would deal with the backlash, and based their decision about Roseanne on what the public decided.
“The morning the racist tweet scandal blew up, Roseanne offered to publicly apologize and do the rounds of every show but Ben and Channing weren’t having any of that and wanted her gone,” Daily Mail’s source continued.
“Why not have her front a PSA for the network on racism and cyberbullying?”
Fears that “The Conners” will flop seem to be what is driving the regret at ABC, with a second source inside the network having told Daily Mail Online that the loyalty to Barr and her Character could spell trouble for their second attempt to bring back the 90s sitcom.
“When we greenlit The Conners we thought that the public would tune in to see the family return but what we’ve discovered is that people want Roseanne – they don’t want the family by themselves,” they explained.
“The marketing and publicity teams are horrified as no matter what promotional material is released – and let’s be honest it’s been limited for a show that launches next Tuesday – Roseanne’s fans come out in force stating that they won’t watch the show.”
“The comments on social media tend to skew in favor of Roseanne and slam The Conners and the cast members who came back,” they added. “Even dedicated fans of the Conner family feel conflicted about supporting a show that so swiftly eliminated the show’s matriarch and creator.”
Ad Age projects that “The Connors” will come in at number eight in the lineup of prime time TV shows for the 2018-2019 season, just below “Empire” at number seven.
A spokesperson for ABC denied these claims to the Daily Mail, saying that the network isn’t concerned about the success of their spin-off show.
The same insider commented about a possible comeback for Roseanne that might make her fans very happy, saying, “Heck who knows – maybe she’ll end up as Tim Allen’s new neighbor on ‘Last Man Standing.’”
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