Posted on May 16, 2018

ABC Boss Defends Roseanne Joke About Black and Asian Families

James Hibberd, Entertainment, May 15, 2018


While on a conference call with reporters, ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey was asked if she felt that stories about Roseanne Barr’s politics have overshadowed how the comedy series revival is perceived as entertainment. “I do think there’s a little bit of that, yes,” she agreed.

Moreover, Dungey says the show will aim to be less political moving forward into next season.


And when Roseanne returns for its next season the fall? “I think they’ll continue on the path they’re on toward the latter part of this season, which is away from politics and more focused on family,” she said.

Dungey also defended a controversial joke on Roseanne from a few weeks back that mocked ABC’s diverse comedies like black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat (Roseanne: “We missed all the shows about black and Asian families” / Dan: “They’re just like us”).

“I was a little surprised, to be honest, by the reaction to that line,” Dungey said, noting that she supported the Roseanne writers in this incident. “We felt writers were looking to tip a hat to those shows. {snip} We do similar things on our other shows. We’re very clear on black-ish about how many opinions are voiced by Dre Johnson.”

{snip} On Monday, Fox executives admitted that the success of Roseanne was a factor in bringing back Last Man Standing, which stars the politically conservative Tim Allen. Fox executives likewise downplayed politics as a factor with the show. “Tim’s personal politics are not a big feature of the show and if you were to talk to Tim he would say [his character] is a centrist and the show never delved deeply into politics,” said Gary Newman, Fox Television’s other Chairman and CEO.