Jimmy Kimmel: Roseanne Barr Isn’t Racist! She’s Just Crazy!
On Tuesday, Roseanne Barr's racism got her sitcom canceled. Or, more accurately, the backlast to her racism got it canceled.
No one really expected to see Jimmy Kimmel rush to Roseanne's defense, but he did.
His words of support, however, have stirred up a controversy of their own.
Jimmy Kimmel's tweet, either making a very bad joke or a controversial appeal for sympathy.
"What @TheRealRoseanne said is indefensible."
That is true — so he's off to a good start.
"But angrily attacking a woman who is obviously not well does no good for anyone."
Is Roseanne obviously not well? She might be feeling a little queasy after she realized that her bigotry cost a couple hundred people their jobs.
"Please take a breath and remember that mental health issues are real."
Oh, dear. Yeah, we see where the controversy lies.
"The Roseanne I know could probably use some compassion and help right now."
As of Thursday afternoon, he has yet to delete the tweet.
The controversy of this tweet is not that she's defending Roseanne. Not exactly.
When people say or do vile, inexcusable things, from mass shootings to lashing out with racism, there are always people who can't bring themselves to blame that person.
Instead, they blame "mental illness.'
The problem goes well beyond the attempt to excuse the indefensible.
The problem is that mental illness and those with it are heavily stigmatized because of these statements.
Remember how Roseanne blamed her racism on Ambien? This is just as absurd and insulting.
Racism is many things, but it is not a mental illness.
On his own show, in the video that we've attached, Jimmy Kimmel plays it a little safer.
Much safer, in fact — he airs on NBC.
"Hear me out, just because Roseanne is gone, it doesn't mean the whole show has to go. The show must go on! That's what we say in show business."
He sets up his gag video.
"And with that said, I have an idea that I think makes this work for everyone"
He does roast ABC a little, but he doens't pust the envelope.
"We don't have much on this network. We're hoping the NBA finals goes 11 games this year."
Obviously, ABC is also the home of shows like the Bachelor franchise and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
"We're still airing America's Funniest Home Videos. Roseanne was very 'bigly' hit for ABC, and we needed it."
So he suggests a series featuring the cast without Roseanne Barr.
The new series would simply be called "Dan," after John Goodman's character.
A lot of people have suggested that such a spinoff could work. Not as a joke, but in all seriousness.
Some worry that the network may not consider the added controversy worth it.
After all, at least part of the Roseanne reboot's appeal was to Trump voters who wanted to see themselves reflected on television.
It's a shame that people are seeing Roseanne's firing as a political move.
No one, no matter their politics, should be okay with bold-faced bigotry.
Roseanne is free to make political statements or to make vulgar jokes as much as she likes. We all are.
But when it comes to racist statements that are bound to send viewers and sponsors fleeing for the hills, it only makes sense for a network to send Roseanne packing.
Though, like Jimmy Kimmel, we would love to see her costars and the entire crew continue being employed.