When Roseanne Barr tweeted her racist jab at former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, she probably didn't expect she'd end the day without her agency representation and her job as the lead of ABC's hit sitcom revival Roseanne. However, that's what happened Tuesday, May 29, after ABC quickly canceled Roseanne and suspended its Emmy campaign on what also happened to be the first day of the writers room for the then-upcoming 11th season.
With many of her cast members coming out against her remarks, she fired back at them on social media.
i created the platform for that inclusivity and you know https://t.co/hViHPX2ZUb. You throw me under the bus. nice!— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 30, 2018
Please leave me alone, thanks.— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 30, 2018
Wow! unreal.— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 30, 2018
Veteran TV writer and executive producer Dave Caplan spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about Tuesday's series of events and how he and other writers feel about losing what could have been lucrative careers on one of ABC's top shows.
"The day began by reading her tweet and I was immediately horrified," said Caplan. "I wasn't sure what to do because I didn't feel like there was really any response to it. It was so far over the line and so loathsome that I suspected there might not be any coming back from it. Frankly, I knew that was a possibility--and rightfully so."
Caplan was right to be nervous since, after Barr's tweet, comedian Wanda Sykes--who acted as a consulting producer for Roseanne--announced she would not be returning to the show.
Caplan said that as he drove into work, he knew the writers wouldn't be able to start with Barr's tweet hanging over their heads. "We hadn't found out that ABC had canceled the show yet, but we also knew that none of us were in the frame of mind to start writing the show under the circumstances. We got together as a group for the first time and there was a lot of bittersweet hellos--and a couple hours later, a lot of difficult goodbyes."
Caplan said he and the other writers found out about the cancelation through the press, saying that even though they knew it was a possibility after Barr's tweet, "the suddenness of it was a shock."
It's still unknown whether the writers, who now probably can't be added to other shows because staffing season has wrapped up, will be paid. Caplan said everyone is still in shock at what happened, and that it's unfortunate "because the writers did pass on other jobs to take this job and nobody really knows yet what kind of compensation they're going to get."
"Everybody is a little bit on edge about how it's going to turn out. But we know it's a wasted opportunity to write more episodes."
As for the possibility of any writer hearing from Barr personally, Caplan doesn't expect that to happen. He said the universal reaction to Barr's career-ending tweet was "disgust."
"That tweet doesn't reflect anything to do with our show, which was built on trying to explore a universal humanity that everyone goes through during hard times and difficult circumstances," he said. "We all felt the same thing about the tweet: we were horrified by it and we also knew what it meant for the show. So there was a sadness about it too for us."