A controversial joke in the Roseanne reboot's third episode is causing a stir online.
"We missed all the shows about black and Asian families," Dan said in the episode, likely referencing ABC's other series, Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat. But Roseanne, whose character and real-life persona are both Trump supporters, was quick to respond. "They’re just like us. There, now you’re all caught up," she said. Since then, the joke has been criticized for being tone deaf on the diverse series on the network.
Actor and writer Kelvin Yu, who stars in Master of None and writes for Bob's Burgers, went to Twitter to break down why the joke is offensive to him and others.
"At the very least, it’s reductive and belittling, as if to say those shows are nothing more than 'Black' and 'Asian' in their existence," began Yu's Twitter thread. "But the real kicker is when Roseanne says: 'They’re just like us. There, now you’re all caught up.' Which implies that the point of any show about a minority family is simply to normalize them. That’s it. The stories, the humor, the characters ... not important.”
But what made it worse for Yu is the person who delivered the line.
"Then you take ALLLLLL of that and put it in the mouth of an avowed Trump supporter (not the actress–the CHARACTER of Roseanne) and you have one stinky little shit sandwich of a joke that ABC allowed to be served in their own restaurant," he tweeted. "It’s a big deal."
The latest backlash comes after ABC reportedly shelved an episode of Black-ish that talked about kneeling during the National Anthem, which is rumored to be the reason for its creator Kenya Barris attempts to get out of his contract to join up with his fellow ABC creator, Shonda Rhimes, at Netflix.
Check out Yu's thread, which also covers Barris' and ABC's "creative differences," above and below.