Canceling of ‘Roseanne’ spotlights Disney’s mixed record on apologies to targeted public officials

by WorldTribune Staff, May 30, 2018

Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, said canceling “Roseanne” was “the right thing to do” and he personally apologized to Obama administration official Valerie Jarrett.

Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger

President Donald Trump responded, in a May 30 tweet, asking about his own apologies from ABC:

“Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that ‘ABC does not tolerate comments like those’ made by Roseanne Barr. 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?”

Observers noted other examples of what they say is a double standard in the entertainment industry when it comes to offensive speech.

Radio host Clay Travis asked why Keith Olbermann, who often goes on profane tirades against Trump, continues to be employed by ESPN, which also is owned by Disney.

Disney has treated “very similar speech dissimilarly based on whether or not it agrees with the content,” Travis said on Fox Sports Radio’s “Outkick the Coverage.”

“If you are a left-winger, you can say whatever you want and you have no punishment for anything you say,” Travis said “The moment you are conservative and you say anything, you get fired.”

Greg Gutfeld, co-host of “The Five” on Fox News, said ABC was justified in canceling “Roseanne,” but he also wondered why Joy Reid, who wrote homophobic articles on her now-defunct blog, continues to have a show on MSNBC.

“Joy Reid has got an amazing second chance going right now after a paper trail of homophobia,” Gutfeld said.

Reid on May 29 issued her own reaction to the cancellation of “Roseanne.”

“It’s fraught because, I think for a lot of Roseanne’s fans who now are really sort of in a big Venn diagram with Trump fans, they see this as no big deal, that this is something that you should be able to say,” Reid said. “Why can’t you say it? It’s just jokes. Why are people taking it to heart? That’s part of the problem, is that you have a certain set of people who feel that you should be able to speak this way.”

Writing for The Washington Times on May 30, columnist Cheryl K. Chumley noted how the left “is crowing, ‘See? See? This is what happens when you have Donald Trump in the White House.’ ”

“Stuff and nonsense. Trump is not to blame for Barr – just as Barack Obama, say, can’t be faulted for Kathy Griffin, the comedian who oh-so-jokingly distributed an image of herself holding onto a bloody severed head of a makeshift Trump,” Chumley wrote.

Griffin lost her New Year’s Eve television gig for that, “but for the most part, critics confined their criticisms to her, at most piggybacking her poor taste, bad judgment and, yes, evil imaginations to showcase the mental instability of many on the left,” Chumley wrote.

But now, with Barr?

“The left is rushing to use Barr to somehow slam Trump by drawing conclusions that simply don’t exist,” Chumley wrote. “And they’re actually starting from a premise that Trump is racist, a false base that only breeds more falsities.”

Chumley continued: “What a convenient memory the left has. Or more to truth: What a politically expedient memory the left has. But using a comedian’s slip-of-tongue and poor judgment to draw conclusions that a president of the United States is racist is not just weak. It’s dishonest — over-the-top dishonest. If Trump’s the reason for Barr, well then, Obama had to be the reason for Griffin. If Trump’s to blame for a moral collapse of our political system, then Obama, the Clintons, Holder and their collection of supporters known as the Political Left – well then, they’re just all living lives of delusion, suffering severe amnesia, trying hard to sell and spin their own lies and dishonesties and moral bankruptcies as upright and righteous truths.”

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