President Donald Trump made his first comments about the Roseanne Barr controversy on Wednesday, criticizing ABC for apologizing to the former Obama adviser targeted by Barr in a racist tweet and claiming the network has ignored “horrible” remarks made about him.
“Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that ‘ABC does not tolerate comments like those’ made by Roseanne Barr,” the president tweeted, referring to the CEO of Disney, which owns ABC. “Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?”
Trump didn’t comment on Roseanne’s tweets or her firing on Tuesday, including during a campaign rally in Nashville, where he made no mention of it.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders had sidestepped questions from reporters on Tuesday when asked about the president’s opinion on the Roseanne controversy.
“That’s not what the president is looking at. That’s not what he’s spending his time on,” she told reporters on Air Force One. “I think that we have a lot bigger things going on in the country right now, certainly that the president is spending his time when it comes to policy.”
It is not clear which comments on ABC Trump was referring to in his tweet, but in the past he has railed against programs on the network such as the hit sitcom “black-ish,” has sparred with the hosts of “The View” and has been mocked by late night host Jimmy Kimmel.
“How is ABC Television allowed to have a show entitled ‘Blackish’? Can you imagine the furor of a show, “Whiteish”! Racism at highest level?” Trump tweeted in 2014.
ABC canceled the hit sitcom “Roseanne” on Tuesday after Barr, the show’s namesake and star, sent a racist tweet calling Jarrett a “child” of the “Muslim Brotherhood” and “Planet of the Apes.”
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” ABC said in a statement canceling the show.
Barr later apologized for the comments and later added that she had been under the influence of the prescription sleeping aid Ambien.
Jarrett responded to Barr’s comment on Tuesday, saying that ABC made the right decision in ending the show. She also confirmed that Iger had called her before the network’s announcement.
“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.”
In March, Trump called Barr, who plays a Trump supporter on the show and is also one in real life, to offer congratulations on the premiere of the sitcom’s reboot, which returned to ABC this year more than 20 years after it ended after a nine-season run.