Tom Arnold on 'Roseanne' Cancellation: Roseanne Barr 'Wanted It to Happen'

Tom Arnold has mixed emotions about his ex-wife Roseanne Barr, and following the scandal surrounding one of her racist tweets which led to the cancellation of Roseanne, he believes it was inevitable.

ABC shocked the entertainment world after it canceled its No. 1 comedy series following Barr's offensive comments on Twitter about former Barack Obama aide Valerie Jarrett. The cancellation left hundreds unemployed and will reportedly cost the network "tens of millions of dollars".

A day after the shocking cancellation, Arnold spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, claiming that after one season Barr did not want to continue with the show.

"It had to happen," Arnold says of the show's abrupt end. "And I am going to tell you the truth, she wanted it to happen, if you saw how her tweets escalated this weekend. If it hadn't happened yesterday, this season would have been so awful for everyone every day because she would have felt like she was [being] taken advantage [of], just like when I left the show."

Arnold wrote for Roseanne during its original run starting in 1988 and married the comedian in 1990; their marriage ended in divorce in 1994.

ABC came to the decision to cancel the series, despite monster ratings, after Barr attacked Jarrett in a tweet that mentioned both the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes.

Arnold said the simple solution to the problem would've been to take away Barr's phone.

"ABC lost maybe $1 billion from this; this show was grinding out money hand over fist and they lost it all because somebody didn't say, 'Get that phone out of her hand,'" Arnold told THR. "She's not going to go on TV and say these things. But you put that phone in her hand and she is a loose cannon."

Arnold further claimed that as the revival's first season was in production, he suggested to Barr's family and the crew for someone to take her phone away.

"I said 'look, someone has got to tell her that Donald Trump doesn't carry his own phone,'" Arnold says. "He may say the tweet, but someone is typing it in."

"She needed someone to wrangle her in and take her phone," he added.

Arnold then said Barr refused to give up her phone, so he came up with a different suggestion: He tried drafting her a statement that would tell fans she was going to spend less time on Twitter.

"I wrote a whole thing for her a month ago and sent it over [to the crew] that said, 'I am going to take a step back, it was fun at first, but now I can see how much negativity there is out there and people are getting hurt and I am going to take a step back and I am hoping my fans will too,'" Arnold claimed. "And then if her crazy tweets came out, she could point to that and say, 'But I have taken a step back.'"


The former Roseanne writer said he will always have a bond with Barr and his stepchildren. In the aftermath of Barr's tweet, Arnold claims he reached out to their mutual friend, Rosie O'Donnell, and asked her to give public support to Barr.

O'Donnell did write, "her racist comment was childish and beneath her best self," on Twitter Tuesday.