By the Way

'Roseanne' cancellation shows that maybe you just can't say anything you want on the internet

In this Jan. 8, 2018, file photo, Roseanne Barr participates in the "Roseanne" panel during the Disney/ABC Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif. ABC canceled its hit reboot of "Roseanne" on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, following star Roseanne Barr's racist tweet to former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.
In this Jan. 8, 2018, file photo, Roseanne Barr participates in the "Roseanne" panel during the Disney/ABC Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif. ABC canceled its hit reboot of "Roseanne" on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, following star Roseanne Barr's racist tweet to former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Just about everyone thinks they are a bad a-- on the internet. It's a place where everyone has opinions on everything and everyone is an expert on nothing.

I'm sure that plenty of people will give me an earful on the comment section of this post. But before you start throwing out insults like "lib----" and "snowflake," I think it's worth mentioning that I'm not affiliated with either political ideology be it donkeys or elephants.

I'm just a guy who is trying to raise a 3-year-old to be a good person. And one of the lessons we keep going back to in our home is "there are consequences for your actions." If my son were just a wee bit older, I could have shown him how this rule applies to everyone. But since we don't watch "Roseanne" as it would cut into our "Paw Patrol" time, I'll save the lesson for when he's older.

On Tuesday, ABC canceled the recently-rebooted sitcom "Roseanne" after its titular star made some truly racists remarks on Twitter.

Oh, Twitter. I really think you had good intentions to be a real-time news source, but now it's pretty much just one large cosmic playground where the bullies bounce and the trolls trounce.

Twitter is the preferred method of communication for President Donald Trump. He is a very active user of the social media platform. And whether you love him or hate him, you have to admit that it's pretty unsettling for the leader of the free world to use social media as his main form of communicating. It's weird, y'all, and unbecoming of a world leader. Some of y'all got mad when then-President Obama wore a tan suit. Twitter is not only a tan suit, it's a cheap tan suit.

But if the President does it, then that's OK, right? No. It's not.

Barr made a since-deleted Tweet about former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett. I'm not going to rehash what she said but it was truly racist and hateful. Barr was probably living by that rule that she could say whatever she wanted on the internet without any recourse.

ABC president Channing Dungey thought otherwise. ABC did the right thing at the right time, a rare move for Hollywood, and pulled the plug on "Roseanne."

Who cares, right? Barr is a millionaire Hollywood type. She'll be fine.

Except that her remarks were not only racist, it was selfish of her to make them. There were a whole lot of people counting on "Roseanne" for their paychecks and I'm talking more than just John Goodman. There were camera operators and hair stylists and caterers and on and on. It takes a lot of people to make a TV series and those people are now without jobs because the show's star couldn't keep her mouth shut. On the internet.

Dungey's decision to pull the plug is a huge step in the right direction — for humanity. It's a move that says we're not going to tolerate hate, even on the internet. This was a big move as the reboot of the show was quite successful. It was a cash cow. It's not an everyday thing for Hollywood to do the right thing when large amounts of money are involved.

And good for cast members such as Wanda Sykes for leaving the show even before it was canceled.

Barr has since apologized and the Tweet was deleted. She asked for forgiveness and said the "joke was in bad taste." Whatever. She knew what she was doing. It's no "joke" to attack people online. There's nothing funny about racism.

It's like when my son was caught drawing on the wall with a marker.

"I'm sorry daddy, " he said. I replied, "You're just sorry because you got caught."

Ms. Barr is only sorry because she got caught and because the backlash was swift, as it should have been.

At least she is facing consequences. She's no better than any 3-year-old. But she should know better and ABC should have known better than to trust her to do the right thing. At least my son has empathy and compassion for others.

And by the way, if you're a bit chapped that ABC would do this over "free speech," this is the opposite of that sense of false pride you felt when the NFL announced it will penalize players for kneeling during the national anthem.

As John Mellencamp said, "Aint that America."

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