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Michael B. Jordan joked that controversial comedian Roseanne Barr, whose eponymous ABC series was canceled after a racist tweet she sent last month, should be best villain when he accepted the evil prize at the MTV Movie & TV Awards.
When he took the stage to accept best villain for his performance as Killmonger in Black Panther, Jordan quipped, “I thought Roseanne had this in the bag.” Jordan’s comment received a smattering of “ooohs,” from the well-heeled audience at Los Angeles’ Barker Hangar.
The ceremony took place on Saturday but aired on MTV on Monday.
ABC decided last month to cancel its top-rated Roseanne revival just hours after Barr, also head writer and executive producer on the series, seemingly compared black former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett to an ape. In a since-deleted tweet posted the morning of May 29, Barr wrote, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” She apologized before her show was canceled: “I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me — my joke was in bad taste.”
In announcing the decision to cancel the show, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey, who is herself African-American, said, “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”
Barr later attributed her tweet to being on Ambien when she wrote it. She also insisted she wasn’t racist and wasn’t trying to make a racist comment with her Jarrett remark. “I honestly thought she was Jewish and Persian-ignorant of me for sure, but…I did.” She later indicated, in multiple replies, that she didn’t know Jarrett is black. “I mistakenly thought she was white,” she wrote.
Last week, she claimed that her comment about Jarrett “was about anti-Semitism.”
“Rod Serling wrote Planet of The Apes. It was about anti-semitism,” she wrote on Twitter. “That is what my tweet referred to-the anti semitism of the Iran deal. Low IQ ppl can think whatever they want.”
While Barr’s tweet about Jarrett prompted a massive outcry on social media and calls for the Disney-owned ABC to cancel the show, the comedian has a long history of controversial tweets, none of which led to such a strong response.
Despite ABC axing Roseanne, a proposed spinoff is very much alive at the network, with Barr agreeing in principle to walk away from the characters she helped create. The proposed spinoff is said to revolve around the character played by Sara Gilbert, with other writer-producers and castmembers, including John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf, said to be tentatively on board.
The MTV Movie & TV Awards, hosted by Tiffany Haddish, aired Monday at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
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