More About the Roseanne Situation

Reactions to Roseanne's tweets and her firing raise interesting questions about communication. Let's look at decisions and responses from five groups: cast members, ABC executives, conservatives, the makers of Ambien, and President Trump.

Cast Members

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Perhaps the most immediate and vocal reaction came from Sara Gilbert, who plays one of Roseanne's daughters on the show. Although she likely has a lot to lose, Gilbert did not hesitate in expressing her anger at Roseanne's tweet about Valerie Jarrett. 

ABC Executives

A New York Times article sheds more light on ABC's decision to cancel the show. Channing Dungey, appointed to lead ABC Entertainment in 2016, is the first African-American woman in such a senior leadership role at a network. With this decision, which was supported by more senior-level executives at ABC, Dungey has made her mark and won praise from other entertainment executives.


Political conservatives support Roseanne and blast the media and firing for silencing her voice. A writer for InfoWars, which has connections to radio host Alex Jones, referred to Roseanne's extraordinary ratings and the "PC police." Conservatives see this as another example of censorship of the right.


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After the firing, Roseanne returned to Twitter and seemed to blame sleep drug Ambien for her comments: "It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting." The drug maker Sanofi responded quickly to defend its "side effects."

President Trump

The president also has jumped into the conversation, which contradicted his press secretary's claim: "That's not what he's spending his time on." President Trump's tweet took aim at CEO Bob Iger: 

"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?"

The president and Roseanne are mutual fans.


  • Which, if any, of these reactions surprise you?
  • Assess Ambien's response. How well did the company defend the brand?
  • Should President Trump have involved himself in this situation? Why or why not?