“We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning,” the agency’s leadership said in an internal memo to company employees. “What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency. Consequently, we have notified her that we will not represent her. Effective immediately, Roseanne Barr is no longer a client.”
Barr signed with ICM Partners last summer, ahead of the premiere of the Roseanne revival on ABC.
The agency’s decision to drop Barr followed a morning of racist tweets in which Barr described Valerie Jarrett, a former key adviser to President Obama, as an offspring of the “Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes.” She followed the tweet with an apology after a social media firestorm of criticism, saying it was a “joke” and that she was leaving Twitter. The announcement by ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey that the network was canceling the revival series soon followed. Disney CEO Bob Iger weighed in shortly afterward, supporting the cancellation decision, tweeting “There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.”
Barr’s family sitcom – the big success story of the 2017-18 TV season – had been picked up for a second season after only one episode, which clocked record ratings. Roseanne was the highest-rated and most watched freshman series of the 2017-18 season and ranked No. 2 overall among all entertainment programs in total viewers (17.815 million in Live+7) and in the adults 18-49 demographic (5.0 rating).