One online post from Roseanne Barr may have cost her the television show that carries her name, but it also cost the other actors and crew a big chunk of their livelihoods.
Barr made headlines in May after she mocked former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett’s appearance in a way that was widely seen as racist. The backlash was swift and severe, and the “Roseanne” cast was left reeling from losing a show that had dominated the television ratings.
Setting aside the fact that liberal media personalities have made similar “jokes” about George W. Bush and Donald Trump without consequence, there’s no denying that Barr should have known better than to write the controversial post.
In the aftermath of the squabble, the outspoken comedian has apologized and tried to make amends for her mistake — and may now have a surprising plan to keep the show afloat, in some version at least.
According to entertainment reporter Jena Greene, Barr is “seriously considering” giving up all of her future profits from a spinoff or “reboot” of the show that carries her name.
“I’m making restitution for the pain I have caused,” the actress posted on Twitter, hinting that a plan was in the works.
Even though the 2018 version of “Roseanne” was already a so-called “soft reboot” of the original, producers are considering altering the show once again to use the existing cast but leave the blacklisted Barr out of the mix.
“The idea of creating a spinoff — possibly focusing on another family member — that would allow the team to carry on without Barr quickly surfaced,” reported Page Six, the entertainment section of the New York Post.
“But many, including one of its showrunners, Whitney Cummings, balked at the idea that Barr would profit from the new version,” Page Six continued.
Barr is set to make millions from a spinoff or re-imagining of a show she helped create, something that the other people involved in the project have a hard time swallowing. That obstacle could be overcome with an extreme — and expensive — solution.
“We’re told Barr is now open to cutting herself out of a spinoff entirely,” Page Six stated. That would allow the individuals involved in the popular show to keep working, while keeping the controversial comedian from profiting after her gaffe.
Those lost profits would almost certainly be up to $30 million out of Barr’s pocket.
“Barr served as a star and executive producer on the ABC series,” reported Newsweek. “(S)he earned about $21 million for acting, directing and producing the nine episodes of Season 10.”
That comes to $2.3 million per episode paid to the comedian. Since the now-canceled 11th season was slated to have 13 episodes, Barr was set to earn just under $30 million more before her controversy derailed the series.
Whether a spinoff of “Roseanne” without its title character or her chaotic blend of politics and rough humor would even succeed remains to be seen, however.
At the very least, it’s good to see that Barr is taking responsibility for her actions, and acknowledging that her choices hurt others besides herself. That attitude is refreshing, even if the uncalled for statement that sparked this controversy was not.