A Roseanne by any other name

Robert Roe

Celebrities say the stupidest things. They really can’t help themselves. For some unfathomable reason, stars believe they achieved celebrity status due to their deep thinking; you know, their greater understanding of the human condition. To which most sensible people say, “Non-non, mon petite.”

Yet the privileged class persist. This week’s case in point being Roseanne Barr. Apparently having the revival of her TV show become a hit wasn’t good enough. She just had to take to Twitter to say something she thought was insightful, probing, and hilarious about former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett – but wound up just being horribly racist.

I’ll not repeat what Barr said for a couple of reasons. The first, you’ve probably already heard it and second, if you have not heard it, you are not going to hear it from me. Suffice it to say, when it comes to being a comedian, Roseanne sometimes makes a great plumber.

The result of her tweet was the cancellation of her show and her being fired from the talent agency representing her. Which takes us downstairs to the “Unintended Consequences” Department. Consider the people who are now unemployed thanks to Roseanne’s thoughtless diatribe. Not just her fellow cast members. From wardrobe to lighting to audio to craft services to make-up to set design and so on, a small army of people are now pushing resumes because Roseanne got bent out of shape about Valerie Jarrett. And the timing could not have been worse. Hiring for the upcoming season of television shows has pretty much finished, leaving a lot of people scrambling for the very few available jobs left.

It has always baffled me why, of all things on earth, people get bent out of shape over skin color? If Barr wanted to insult Valerie Jarrett, tackle her policies, not her person. Roseanne could have gone the way of political wags during the George W. administration. Remember when pundits called Karl Rove “Bush’s Brain?” Calling Jarrett “Obama’s Brain” would have made the point without causing the Twitterverse to explode. People might have gotten upset, but not to the level of taking her show off the air.

I’d give Barr the same advice I give my Never-Trumper friends: get over it. But she won’t listen. Even though in the case of the tweet, the people have spoken. The people spoke loudly, resolutely, and with one voice. The message was clear: that sort of ugliness will not be tolerated any more.

As always, there is someone who can get my point across better than myself. This comes from the Mason County High School Engineering and Tech Department’s Twitter feed: “Students and future professionals…in the news today we learned that millions of dollars were lost along with the jobs of the ‘Tweeter’ and her co-workers. This was due to a 53-character hate-filled/racist tweet. Use social media respectfully!”

You see, it doesn’t take a Roseanne Barr to remind us that thoughts we post online have consequences. It just takes some people with common sense.


Robert Roe