“[The decision] was actually made very swiftly, and what I’m going to have to say is that it was nice that it was so clear to everyone that there wasn’t a lot of debate and discussion about it,” ABC president Channing Dungey told Deadline in an interview released Wednesday. “We knew what we wanted to do, and we did it. For us, we have had multiple instances with Roseanne, and certainly this tweet crossed the line that cannot be crossed, but it was for us a sense of enough is enough and something had to be done.”
ABC famously and quickly canceled “Roseanne” after eponymous star Barr went on a Twitter rant in which she compared former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape.
Barr also blamed Ambien for her tweets before later saying she was actually fired because she voted for Donald Trump.
Dungey, 49, wasn’t buying Barr’s excuses.
“We obviously knew that she had a slightly volatile history in the previous incarnation of ‘Roseanne’,” she said. “She had come to us very clear that she wanted to make the show a priority, really wanting a second chance at this and we took that at face value. I don’t regret it, I am never going to regret waking up that morning and seeing the ratings from that first season … It’s been a journey with ups and downs.”
“It’s not a secret that she has had a tendency in the past to be sort of outspoken and go off-book,” Dungey explained further in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “We’ve had multiple conversations about wanting to keep the focus on the show and not to let some of the other stuff eclipse the show. So, in some ways, this was a last straw. But it was also such an egregious tweet that it felt like no matter what, there would have been some action that we would have taken.”
Dungey is happy that despite the drama, the rest of the cast and crew of “Roseanne” will have an opportunity to shine in the show’s spin-off, “The Conners.”
“I think the swift, decisive action really spoke volumes and I think we’re proud of what we did. I am excited about the fact that we were able to bring the cast back and a majority of the crew back to work on ‘The Conners’ — that’s important to me,” Dungey said. “That was my one disappointment [the day ‘Roseanne’ was canceled] — thinking about the innocent people who were affected by the decision. The fact that we’re now able to move forward with ‘The Conners’ feels good.”