Donald Trump has responded to ABC cancelling the television show Roseanne over a racist tweet by star Roseanne Barr’s by claiming that he did not receive an apology when the television network aired controversial statements about his presidency.
ABC apologised to Valerie Jarrett, a former Barack Obama administration official, over a tweet from star Roseanne Barr comparing Ms Jarrett – who is black – to an “ape”. Mr Trump, seemingly comparing his situation to that of Ms Jarrett, tweeted: “Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that “ABC does not tolerate comments like those” made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologise for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?”
Mr Trump did not appear to condemn Ms Barr’s behaviour in the matter, however. Ms Barr had written in reference to Ms Jarrett: “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”
Within hours the network said in a statement: “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show”.
The show centred around Ms Barr’s namesake character who was a supporter of Mr Trump, living in Illinois. It quickly became a topic of controversy, particularly when discussing themes of Islamophobia and the title character being afraid of her Muslim neighbours.
Just one day prior to Mr Trump’s furious message, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president would likely not concern himself with the cancellation of the show because “we have a lot bigger things going on in the country right now”.
However, the president has frequently criticised the “fake news” for reporting less-than-favourable news about him and the administration.
Ms Jarrett later called Ms Barr’s tweet about her a “teaching moment” about racism in the US.
For her part, Ms Barr apologised for the tweet, but blamed it on her sleep aid medication Ambien. The makers of the medication, pharmaceutical company Sanofi, tweeted: “People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world. While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication”.