'Roseanne' Cancellation Hits Disney Stock in Wall Street Session

Disney stocks were down at the end of the day on Tuesday, largely due to the catastrophic day for ABC's Roseanne.

The sitcom reboot was cancelled on Tuesday after its star, Roseanne Barr, tweeted a racist conspiracy theory about former Obama administration adviser Valerie Jarrett. The controversy showed, as shares of the parent company, Disney, were down about 2.4% as Wall Street sessions ended, according to a report by Deadline. The company's shares are now valued at $99.69 each.

The Twitter backlash hit hard on a day that was already looking grim for investors. Experts can't quite quantify the effect Roseanne had on the market, though they said that share prices were already dropping before ABC cancelled the show.

The network's executives put a bold face on the decision. Disney CEO Bob Iger told CNBC that "there was no debate" amongst the top brass about how to handle the tweet. ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey cancelled the show herself in a brief statement.

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

Still, the loss of the high performing multi-cam sitcom hit Disney hard, especially after the disappointing opening weekend for Solo: A Star Wars Story. The movie came in well under its estimated numbers, and split the sci-fi fandom over the holiday weekend.

All in all, The Dow 30 reportedly fell by 391.64 points on Tuesday, and the Nasdaq and S&P also wound up in the red. The only solace for executives is knowledge that media outlets suffer much less from the poor performances of individual programs than they used to.

In the tweet that got her show cancelled, Barr implied that Jarrett was a part of the Muslim Brotherhood, while also insulting her appearance by referencing the Planet of the Apes franchise.


"Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=[Valerie Jarrett]," the tweet read. It was later deleted. Barr went to great lengths to defend her tweet, even saying that it was not racist since Islam is not a race. However, she later caved in and issued an apology.

"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."
Shortly after that, Dungey announced that the show was officially cancelled.