'The Conners': ABC is afraid 'Roseanne' spin-off will flop when it debuts next week without Roseanne Barr
Two ABC senior execs revealed that firing Roseanne Barr from 'Roseanne' reboot was a hasty decision and suggest it would've been wiser to temporarily suspend Barr instead
Top ABC senior executives might have acted too quick when they recently removed Roseanne Barr from the show 'Roseanne' and they are now worried that the show's spin-off 'The Conners' will fail without the star.
In an interview with DailyMail, two senior executives revealed that firing the actress was a hasty decision by ABC's president and unveiled that the wiser decision would have been to temporarily suspend Barr. "We didn't think it through properly. What Roseanne did was wrong but we shouldn't have rushed to fire her. It was almost a knee-jerk reaction by Ben [Sherwood] and Channing [Dungey] who should have launched an investigation," said an insider.
"This would have given them more time to listen to the public, advertisers and cast members to determine the best decision," they continued. The most awaited reboot of the popular sitcom 'Roseanne' was canceled in May after Barr made a racist tweet about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett.
She came into the spotlight when she responded to a tweet that mentioned Jarrett saying, "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby= vj." Just hours after the tweet, ABC canceled the show and fired her. They even released a statement calling her comments 'abhorrent and repugnant'.
Thought ABC's decision was applauded by many, their hasty decision put an end to the reboot which was considered to be a huge success. Even prior to her tweet, Barr had received flack for her portrayal of a Trump supporter.
A source claims that ABC was aware of what they were getting into when they hired her in order to reboot the show. But, apparently, her inappropriate tweet was the last straw, even though she attempted to apologize and save herself.
"They could've suspended her from the first few episodes without pay and had her return later on in the season. I mean the season finale saw Roseanne going to the hospital for knee surgery," the source added.
Roseanne Barr has deleted the tweet attacking former President Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarett https://t.co/nyXXLVVwME— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) May 29, 2018
"While they worked out her fate, her character could have faced serious complications and fought for her life, while simultaneously making Roseanne fight for her career with a national apology tour. The morning the racist tweet scandal blew up, Roseanne offered to publicly apologize and do the rounds of every show but Ben and Channing weren't having any of that and wanted her gone. Why not have her in front a PSA for the network on racism and cyberbullying?" the source added.
"Roseanne kept saying on the call before she was fired 'What can I do? What can I do?' Fans of her show have watched her character confront prejudice and racism — we could've made this a storyline for her to save the show and redeem her publicly," continued the source. Now, with 'The Conners' premiering on October 16, the channel is bracing itself to find out if the show can survive without her.
"When we greenlit 'The Conners', we thought that the public would tune in to see the family return but what we've discovered is that people want Roseanne — they don't want the family by themselves," a second source said. "The marketing and publicity teams are horrified as no matter what promotional material is released, and let's be honest it's been limited for a show that launches next Tuesday, Roseanne's fans come out in force stating that they won't watch the show. The comments on social media tend to skew in favor of Roseanne and slam 'The Conners' and the cast members who came back. Even dedicated fans of the Conner family feel conflicted about supporting a show that so swiftly eliminated the show's matriarch and creator."