Comedian Tim Allen spoke out about ABC's decision to fire Roseanne Barr from her namesake show after the comedienne posted a controversial tweet about a former aide of President Barack Obama.
What's the background?
In May, Barr went on the Twitter offensive about Valerie Jarrett, a former Obama aide. Comparing Jarrett to an ape, Barr wrote, "[M]uslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” pointing to Jarrett, who is black.
Despite Barr's many apologies, ABC decided to fire her as a result of the tweet and rebrand hit show "Roseanne" as "The Connors" for its fall return. All other cast members are reportedly returning for the rebooted show's spinoff.
What did Allen say about Barr's firing?
Speaking during Television Critics Association's press tour in Beverly Hills, California, Thursday, Allen was asked whether he believed ABC did the right thing in firing Barr over her controversial May tweet.
The "Last Man Standing" star answered, "I go way back with Rosie and that’s not the Rosie I know. She was the most diverse and tolerant woman I’ve ever known for a long time."
"Whatever got in her head isn’t the Roseanne I know," he added. "It’s a very icy time. I’ve been a comedian for 38 years and I’ve never seen it, like Lenny Bruce said at the Purple Onion, ‘We’ve gone backwards.’"
"There are things you can’t say," Allen continued. "There are things you shouldn’t say. Who makes up these rules? And as a stand-up comic, it’s a dangerous position to be in because I like pushing buttons. It’s unfortunate.”
Allen said that at the end of the day, ABC — the network from which his own decidedly conservative-friendly sitcom was axed — "had to do what they had to do," and noted that it was ultimately the network's decision to fire Barr.
Fox picked up "Last Man Standing" due to its popularity, and the show's new season is set to premiere Sept. 28.