Black-ish creator Kenya Barris believes it was only a matter of time before Roseanne Barr went off the rails, and he says ABC should have seen it coming.
When Barr posted her racist tweet last month comparing former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to a cross between the Muslim Brotherhood and the movie Planet of the Apes, Barris said he was so angry he almost did something drastic.
“I was literally coming out of the show and I was like f— this,” he said. “I was going to go crazy. I was going to call my agent and go on (CNN’s) Don Lemon and other shows.”
Barris shared his thoughts on the situation Wednesday during Variety’s Path to Parity summit.
Before going public, he said he called ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey, Disney-ABC Television Group chief Ben Sherwood, and ABC Studios president Patrick Moran to let them know he was furious and planned to go public.
Dungey asked Barris to hold off because the network was in the process of pulling the plug on Barr’s self-titled sitcom, Roseanne.
“I was like, ‘I’m sorry guys’ and then I have to say, the response came in minutes.”
Barris said he was stunned the network took action so quickly.
“It was amazing. Having Channing at the head and having Bob (Iger) be supportive,” Barris said.
Still, the producer, who reportedly clashed with ABC brass over a Black-ish episode about NFL players protesting during the national anthem, questioned the network’s decision to put Barr on the air in the first place.
“You hired a monster and then you asked why the monster was killing villagers,” Barris said about the comedian, who has a history of making inflammatory statements on social media.
ABC canceled Roseanne on May 29. The network is currently in talks with the show’s producers about creating a possible spinoff.