I know the whole Roseanne debacle is old news now, but in the wake of all the Twitter bans (spoiler: another article coming up soon) I’ve been thinking about her situation lately. And the more I think about it, the more a sort of conspiracy theory emerges. I think she was set up to fail on purpose, and the whole thing was orchestrated by the head honchos at ABC.
First off, there’s no way that the heads of programming didn’t know she was going to say something really stupid on Twitter sooner or later. It was no secret to anybody that Roseanne was not mentally well, was on psychiatric medications, was a Trump supporter, and liked to shoot her mouth off online and draw negative attention to herself. They didn’t give her a show in spite of this, they gave her a show because of this. Any attention is good attention, and cable networks are fighting for attention now that Netflix is proving there’s a better way to watch TV.
ABC’s ratings have been declining in recent years, and they haven’t had the number-one hit show in 24 years. They were in need of a ratings boost, and Roseanne let them kill two birds with one stone. Attention was brought back to their programming, and they got to make themselves look good when they let her go.
Here’s an excerpt from the LA Times:
The network was praised for its swift response. “Roseanne Barr’s comments were appalling and reminiscent of a horrific time in our history when racism was not only acceptable but promoted by Hollywood,” wrote NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson in a statement released Tuesday. “We applaud ABC for taking a stand against racism by cancelling ‘Roseanne’ today.”
A large television network that gave a “known racist” a show about “being racist” hardly cares about ‘racism.’ They care about ratings, and ratings only. Like I just said – any press is good press. They were applauded by organizations like the NAACP of course, as well as other large organizations, media figures and network heads – who were really probably either showing off how conscientious they are, or applauding that their competition had just lost a hit show and would see their ratings drop. ABC also got tons of public praise on Twitter from dumb Lefties about ‘standing up to racism.’
Looking at the big picture now, I think it’s fairly obvious what happened. The incident had nothing to do with doing the right thing, and everything to do with ratings. It was nothing but a big publicity stunt, that a mentally unwell Roseanne was ultimately exploited for. To add insult to injury, Roseanne has just announced that in the upcoming Roseanne spin-off show The Connors, her character will be said to have died of an opioid overdose. And she’s mad as hell about that, and I think she’s right to be.
They brought her show back – for ratings. They cancelled her show – for ratings. In her show, she got to be a Trump supporter, as she is in real life – and now they’re making out her Trump supporting character to be a drug addict who overdoses and dies. She was given no say in what happened to her character, and it looks like the network is punishing her for her political views and for her tweet – that she already suffered enough over.
The lady lost her show and much of her public dignity. The horse is already dead and they won’t stop kicking it.
If you’re serious about expanding the public conversation around mental health and showing compassion towards others, then please don’t tell me that you think what the network is doing to her is okay right now.
-Senior Editor A.
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