Disney CEO Robert Iger Speaks out About ABC's Decision to Cancel 'Roseanne'

Walt Disney chairman and CEO Robert Iger tweeted that ABC's cancellation of Roseanne was "the right thing" to do Tuesday, shortly after the network announced the news.

"From Channing Dungey, President of ABC Entertainment: 'Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.' There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing," Iger wrote.

The show was canceled following a racist and Islamophobic tweet from Roseanne Barr likening former Barack Obama aide Valerie Jarrett to a Planet of the Apes character.

ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey confirmed that Roseanne was canceled as a direct result of Barr's tweet, which Dungey called "abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values," according to a report by Entertainment Tonight.

"Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show," read Dungey's brief statement.

The longtime sitcom star was on Twitter in the early hours of Tuesday morning, where she attempted to make a racist joke about Jarrett. The offending tweet was posted at 2:45 a.m. ET on Tuesday, and immediately drew backlash from all sides.

"Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=[Valerie Jarrett]," it read. It was later deleted.

(Photo: Twitter / @therealroseanne)

Even many of Barr's co-workers and usual defenders, including Sara Gilbert and Wanda Sykes, renounced the tweet.

A few hours later, Barr apologized to Jarrett and any others who were offended by her post, announcing once again that she was leaving Twitter.

"I apologize. I am now leaving Twitter," she wrote, adding in a separate tweet: "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."

Born to American parents in Shiraz, Iran, where her father ran a children's hospital, Jarrett and her family moved back to the United States when she was 7 years old. As an adult, she worked as the Director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs in the Obama administration from 2009-2017.


At first, Barr reportedly tried to defend her tweet by saying that it was not racist since Islam is not a race, tweeting, "ISLAM is not a RACE, lefties. Islam includes EVERY RACE of people." While her original post was deleted, several others defending herself were not.

In her later apology, Barr mentioned Jarrett's "looks," seeming to admit that the joke had been a racist shot at the politician's appearance.