It’s harder and harder to find new experiences as one gets older, so imagine my surprise yesterday when, for the first time ever, something Roseanne Barr did actually made me laugh.
Admittedly, what she did was to get fired from her zombified, one-trick-pony sitcom which had been improbably resurrected for a new series, but it was still gratifying to see her get her just desserts. It shouldn’t be too much of a blow – she loves desserts…
For those not keeping score, Roseanne went on a strange twitter tirade (as she has often done before) and claimed Chelsea Clinton was married to one of Democrat donor George Soros’ nephews. When Ms. Clinton stepped in and calmly pointed out that she wasn’t, Roseanne backed down, circled around and decided to accuse Soros of rounding up his fellow Jews during the holocaust.
George Soros, for the record, was thirteen when his country was invaded, and was made to report along with other Jewish minors to a Nazi tribunal where he was told to take slips of paper to other Jewish families informing them of their planned deportation. It wasn’t so much a war crime as an unpaid paper route, but I digress…
Roseanne then went on to join some other right wing loon in lambasting Valerie Jarrett, an Obama-era presidential aide. Ms. Jarrett, who was born in the Middle East to black parents, was described by Roseanne as a mixture of the Muslim brotherhood and “Planet of the Apes.”
The ABC Network dropped the recently renewed “Roseanne” sitcom like a hot, racist potato. Roseanne immediately began blaming sleeping drug Ambien for the tweet – you know how sometimes you have trouble sleeping and so take some sleeping pills then go on Twitter? Me neither, but we’ve definitely all taken some sleeping pills and suddenly become racist, right? …Right?! …Guys?!
The backlash has been deservedly brutal, with many pointing out the irony that Roseanne and her onscreen counterpart are both Trump supporters – that the sitcom Roseanne was meant to show that all Trumpers are not ignorant racists, and the real life Roseanne has now made the exact opposite point in red, underlined ink.
One twitter user (@thinking_reed) commented that “It’s almost too on the nose that the fictional Roseanne is a hard-pressed, working-class Trump supporter while the real Roseanne is a rich racist Trump supporter.”
What’s especially interesting to me is the reaction of ABC compared to the Republican party. When a star of an ABC show says something nakedly, spitefully racist in public, they get fired. Immediately. When a Republican nominee (or, later, President) make a flagrantly racist statement, the party shrugs and acts like they didn’t hear. The Republican party, to be clear, are now less morally upstanding than network television executives. That says a lot.
It’s also worth noting that a few weeks back, comedian Michelle Wolf was at the White House correspondents dinner. She said, in essence, “Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a liar and wears mascara” and the entirety of Trump country erupted in outrage at the insult to a woman’s honour. Roseanne compared a black White House aide to an ape and all of Trump country tried to explain it away or act like it somehow wasn’t racist.
Strange days indeed…