Before ABC announced its decision to pull Roseanne off the air, Black-ish creator Kenya Barris was prepared to leave the network following Roseanne Barr’s racist and Islamophobic tweet aimed at former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.
“I was literally coming out of the show and I was like f— this. I was going to go crazy. I was going to call my agent and go on Don Lemon and other shows,” Barris said during a panel for Variety‘s Path to Parity summit.
According to the publication, before Barris got the chance to quit and began his PR campaign slamming ABC, he called the company’s president Channing Dungey, ABC Studios president Patrick Moran, and Disney/ABC Television Group chief Ben Sherwood to let them know. “I was like, ‘I’m sorry guys’ and then I have to say, the response came in minutes,” Barris said.
Dungey told Barris to wait, as the network prepared to announce the cancellation of the show. “It was amazing. Having Channing at the head and having Bob (Iger) be supportive,” Barris said of the decision.
At the end of May, Barr fired off a tweet calling Jarrett the result of when “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby.” Though she walked back the statement, blaming the drug ambien, ABC decided to pull the show later that same day, calling Barr’s statement “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.” Since this announcement, ABC has also pulled all Roseanne reruns from local affiliates.
Barris still questioned the network’s decision to sign off on a Roseanne reboot in the first place, calling her tweet “an indefensible moment but at the same time, you hired a monster and then you asked why the monster was killing villagers.”