Valerie Jarrett, former adviser to President Barack Obama, responded to actress Roseanne Barr’s comment referring to her as an “ape” on Tuesday, saying ABC made the right decision in canceling its hit sitcom starring the actress.
“First of all, I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment. I’m fine. I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and followers coming to their defense,” Jarrett said during a town hall on MSNBC called “Everyday Racism in America.”
When asked if ABC made the right call in canceling the sitcom “Roseanne,” Jarrett said that the network did and that Bob Iger, the chief executive officer of Disney, had called her before the announcement.
Iger apologized, Jarrett said, adding that he told her there would be zero tolerance for those types of comments.
“He wanted me to know before he made it public that he was canceling the show,” she said.
ABC announced Tuesday that it was canceling the show after Barr referred to Jarrett as a “child” of the Muslim Brotherhood and “Planet of the Apes” in a tweet posted Tuesday. She later deleted the tweet.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” read a statement from ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey.
Barr later apologized on her Twitter account.