Roseanne could return without title character after race row
The axed sitcom Roseanne could return to screens without its shamed title character, according to reports.
US network ABC is said to be in discussions to bring back the show, which was cancelled after its star Roseanne Barr made a racist joke on Twitter.
Barr, 65, tweeted that Barack Obama’s former adviser Valerie Jarrett, who is black, looked like the spawn of the “Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes.”
US media reports claim ABC has opened talks with Carsey Werner, the production company behind Roseanne.
It is hoped that a second reboot, with the sitcom having originally aired in the 1990s before making a comeback in 2018, would save hundreds of workers’ jobs.
Entertainment news website TMZ has claimed the show is exploring the idea of centring the show around the character Darlene, played by Sara Gilbert.
Darlene is the daughter of Barr’s character Roseanne and her husband Dan Connor, played by John Goodman.
Gilbert labelled Barr’s offending tweet “abhorrent” earlier this week.
Any potential deal is complicated by Barr’s business relationship with Casey Werner, CNN reports.
Depending on the terms of her contract, producers may reportedly have to buy out her stake in the show.
Barr’s planned appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience comedy podcast was cancelled on Friday, with Rogan saying that the actress was “not doing well”.
Barr revealed that she “begged” ABC executives to keep her show on the air.
I’m not a racist, I never was & I never will be. One stupid joke in a lifetime of fighting 4 civil rights 4 all minorities, against networks, studios, at the expense of my nervous system/family/wealth will NEVER b taken from me.
— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 30, 2018
In since deleted tweets, she wrote: “I begged Ben Sherwood at ABC 2 let me apologize & make amends (sic).
“I begged them not to cancel the show. I told them I was willing to do anything & asked 4 help in making things right.
“I’d worked doing publicity 4 them for 4 free for works, travelling, thru bronchitis. I begged 44 ppls jobs.”
Barr claimed taking insomnia medication Ambien was to blame for the remark about Jarrett.
Pharmaceutical company Sanofi, which makes the drug, said “racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication”.