No Tears For Roseanne
Looks like we’re going to talk Roseanne Barr today. I mean, nothing else seems to be going on in the world.
I watch cable news. I know what’s important.
First, a disclaimer: I’ve never seen “Roseanne.” Didn’t watch a single episode of the original sitcom that ran from 1988 through 1997. Had no interest in seeing this spring’s reboot, either.
I did, however, catch Roseanne’s crude rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in 1990.
That was enough Roseanne for a lifetime.
But after a racist Tweet this week, she was sacked by ABC, her show was apparently cancelled,and right on cue, the slept-through-social-studies-crowd began to howl.
What about Roseanne’s First Amendment rights, they demanded.
What about all the other entertainers who have said nasty things and still have jobs, they added.
What about the Ambien she took?
Let’s start with that First Amendment argument. It’s the easiest.
Will someone help me remind these blockheads that the Constitution doesn’t protect your right to shoot off your mouth at any time. It simply prohibits the GOVERNMENT from trying to shut you up.
Last time I checked, ABC was not a government agency. The network was Roseanne’s employer. Like employers everywhere, network honchos can tell their workers what to say and what not to say. They can fire employees who hurt their brand.
This is the flip side of the NFL kneeling debate.
Americans are free to disrespect the flag or the anthem. The government can’t stop us. But football players are well-paid employees of their respective NFL teams. If an owner wants his team on its feet for the national anthem, he can insist they stand. He can fire anyone who kneels. (Unless there’s a prayerful pose clause in their contract, I suppose).
Weird. Some of the same people who object to NFL kneelers think Roseanne should be allowed to post racist rants on Twitter and keep her job. Likewise, some of those defending NFL protesters think Roseanne was rightly canned for her offensive Tweet.
Hypocrisy. Coming in hot from all directions.
Oh, and as far as the what-about-other-entertainers-who-said-nasty-things-and-didn’t-get-fired question? Well, different bosses, different decisions.
Entertainment is a business. When an employee does or says something to hurt the bottom line they usually find themselves on the street.
Now about that Ambien excuse. Three words: Nice try, Roseanne.