Social media is congratulating Channing Dungey, the president of ABC Entertainment, for canceling Roseanne Barr’s namesake show after the actress sent anti-Semitic and racist tweets.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values and we have decided to cancel her show,” Dungey said Tuesday in a statement shared widely on Twitter.
She also suggested that Chelsea Clinton was married to the nephew of billionaire George Soros, tweeting “Chelsea Soros Clinton,” then adding, “Soros’ goal; the overthrow of us constitutional republic by buying/backing candidates 4 local district attorney races who will ignore US law & favor ‘feelings’ instead — and call everyone who is alarmed by that ‘racist.’”
After Clinton replied, “Good morning Roseanne — my given middle name is Victoria. I imagine George Soros’s nephews are lovely people. I’m just not married to one….” Barr wrote, “Sorry to have tweeted incorrect info about you! Please forgive me! By the way, George Soros is a Nazi who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered in German concentration camps & stole their wealth-were you aware of that? But, we all make mistakes, right Chelsea?”
Barr then called Clinton’s husband Marc Mezvinsky “the son of a corrupt Senator” before apologizing to Jarrett and announcing her departure from Twitter.
I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me-my joke was in bad taste.
— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 29, 2018
There was also much applause for Dungey on Twitter, including from celebrities such as A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay, Viola Davis, and even her own sister, actress Merrin Dungey of The King of Queens.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 29, 2018
#ChanningDungey shows us just how important it is to get more diverse voices to the top of the food chain. Women and POC need to be more than just the people advising the decision makers, they need to be the decision makers.
Thank you @ABCNetwork for doing the right thing.
— Mama Jean B (@mamajeanab) May 29, 2018
My sister is a BALLER.
— Merrin Dungey (@RealMerrinD) May 29, 2018
ABC’s craven decision-making regarding Roseanne has taken place under the guidance of Channing Dungey, the network’s first black female president. Given Wanda’s tweet, I figured it was worth mentioning.https://t.co/Jpm6KphE50
— Soraya Nadia McDonald (@SorayaMcDonald) May 29, 2018
According to the New York Times, Dungey, 49, was promoted in February 2016, as the first black network president after serving as vice president of drama development at ABC Studios and EVP of drama development, movies and miniseries at ABC Entertainment Group, according to Variety. Dungey also helped launch Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, both of which feature diverse casts.
In March, Dungey got attention for the network’s decision to pull an episode of Black-ish that focused on NFL players choosing to not kneel during the national anthem. “With this particular episode, there were a number of different elements to the episode that we had a hard time coming to terms on,” Dungey told the press during a phone call. “Much has been made about the kneeling part of it, which was not even really the issue, but I don’t want to get into that. At the end of the day, this was a mutual decision between Kenya [the show’s creator] and the network to not put the episode out.”
During the call, Dungey also defended a controversial scene in Roseanne featuring the actress and her onscreen husband Dan Connor falling asleep while watching television. “We missed all the shows about black and Asian families,” Dan said of ABC‘s Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat, to which Rosanne responded, “They’re just like us. Now you’re all caught up.”
Addressing social media criticism, Dungey said, “I was a little bit surprised to be honest to the reaction to that line. We felt the writers were simply tipping the hat to those shows. It certainly wasn’t meant to offend. That said, I do stand by the Roseanne writers in terms of the decision to include that line. I think they felt as though they were expressing the point of view of the Conners in what they would actually have said.”
Dungey, who adopted a 1-year-old girl named Eden with her husband Scott Power in 2012, once said of motherhood, “It’s so exciting to be a mom and to be kind of rediscovering the world through her eyes.” Two years later, she told UCLA that although she didn’t have many black role models in her own life, “now my 3-year-old daughter has examples like Beyoncé and Oprah and Shonda. If I’m lucky enough to have people looking up to me, to have broken some ground, that’s incredible.”
And she’s expressed motivation to tell the stories of a blue-collar audience, one that may represent a different swath of the country.
“With our dramas, we have a lot of shows that feature very well-to-do, well-educated people, who are driving very nice cars and living in extremely nice places,” Dungey said in 2016. “There is definitely still room for that, and we absolutely want to continue to tell those stories because wish-fulfillment is a critical part of what we do as entertainers. But in recent history, we haven’t paid enough attention to some of the true realities of what life is like for everyday Americans in our dramas.”
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