Sharing her truth. Whitney Cummings broke her silence on what led to her departure from ABC’s Roseanne reboot — and she admitted it was 100 percent due to star Roseanne Barr’s tweeting history.
“I wanted her to get off Twitter,” the comedian said on The Daily Beast’s “The Last Laugh” podcast on Wednesday, July 31. “I felt like it was going to come to a head. It was like whack-a-mole.”
The 36-year-old, who was the revival series’ showrunner, then mentioned how she “was pissed” about Barr’s racist tweets, even though she departed the show several weeks earlier. She noted that the cast and crew “all worked really hard on that show and it’s just a shame,” adding further that those involved in the ABC series put their “heart and soul” into the project but it was “just for nothing.”
“I grew up watching Roseanne, I loved it,” the Whitney alum added. “I grew up poor and that was the first show that looked like my house. It was the first show that didn’t make me feel bad about myself.”
According to Vanity Fair, fellow Roseanne showrunner Bruce Helford told reporters on a conference call in May 2018 — before Barr posted her racist tweet — that Cummings’ exit was due to having “so much going on.”
Barr, 66, was fired by ABC after she tweeted that former White House aide Valerie Jarrett, 62, looked like the “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby.” At the time, the network deemed the star’s remark to be “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.”
Barr’s reply sparked a wave of backlash across the Internet, and many of the actress’ colleagues spoke out against her statement. Wanda Sykes, who was a consulting producer on the series, tweeted her resignation that month by stating that she “would not be returning” to the revival. Stars such as Sara Gilbert, Michael Fishman, Emma Kenney and Alicia Goranson also publicly condemned Barr.
While Cummings initially remained quiet on the matter, she eventually reacted to Barr’s behavior in a since-deleted tweet.
“Working on Roseanne was a surreal, incredible experience,” Cummings wrote in May 2018. “Due to work commitments and my tour schedule, I’m gonna have to watch the Conners from the sidelines next season. It was an honor to work with such an incredibly talented group of actors, writers and crew.”
The Roseanne revival was renewed for another season after high ratings all season long, including an impressive 18.1 million views for its March 2018 debut. Although Barr’s tweet led to the show’s cancelation, it was brought back to life in a spinoff series, dubbed The Conners.
The Conners, which debuted in October of that year, featured Roseanne’s original cast sans Barr. Her character was killed off after suffering from an accidental opiate overdose.
ABC renewed The Conners for a second season in March.
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