Dungey said she was surprised that Roseanne Barr’s ouster, which thrust a behind-the-scenes executive into the spotlight, became a national news story. Still, she said she had no regrets about her decision to return the blue-collar comedy to ABC after a 21-year hiatus.
“We had a great conversations about the kinds of stories they wanted to tell, those broader stories that deal with a part of our country, particularly those that are more challenged economically,” said Dungey during the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Laguna Niguel.
Dungey said she felt Roseanne hit all the right narrative notes. She said she is pleased that the spinoff, The Conners, will return most of the cast to the network on Oct. 16, with John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf reprising their roles.
Barr — who has apologized to Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett since the original tweet, and variously claimed she was on Ambien when she tweeted, and later, that she was unaware that Jarrett is black — isn’t part of the new sitcom.
Dungey said Barr’s tweet “crossed a line that cannot be crossed.” She said actors and other Hollywood figures are eager to express their views on social media in this politically charged time.
“You don’t want to infringe on someone’s freedom of speech or their ability to share their views,” Dungey said. “At some point, there’s a standard of behavior we’re looking for for people associated with The Walt Disney Co.”
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