May 30, 2018
In a stroke of her keyboard, Roseanne let loose an apparently tiny, but powerful racism germ from a small corner of her heart into the twitter sphere. It’s a germ that can lie dormant in unknown parts of the hearts of otherwise good people at all levels, from the working class to the elites of television networks. It’s not an epidemic that some would have us believe, but there can be outbreaks. It’s a germ that erodes the self-worth of the intended targets not immunized with the knowledge that it is a lie. We are all made equal. That is the truth. Roseanne says her life and beliefs are in no way reflected in the tweet, begging the question of how the tweet happened. There should be a television show about that.
Uncontained, the germ also gets into the hearts and lung of people with low immune systems, ultimately spreading it through their tongues and keyboards. Roseanne’s tweet had to be contained, no doubt. Roseanne herself appears to have known that since she apologized immediately and signed off Twitter forever. Whether that was an effort to contain it, or to save her show and career, or both is unclear.
Whichever it was, ABC missed an incredible opportunity to rid Roseanne of this apparently dormant germ that emerged in a moment of anger – on the show itself which is designed for just such a situation. The very essence of the Roseanne show is to reflect the problems plaguing America. It’s also known for breaking the veneer of television and inserting the real-life happenings of the characters into the script.
ABC still has a golden opportunity to make the entire Season 2 a fiction meets reality in the Connor household about Roseanne’s tweet, why it happened, and the fall out from it. It would be clear that ABC was not tolerating Roseanne’s tweet, but delving into this outbreak of the germ, which needs to be healed. It would also be a way for ABC to be clear that it was doing something positive for America, rather than immediately washing its profit-tied hands of the show.
Based on her reaction, Roseanne would probably go along with being the face of this issue. The ABC executives may even be so honest as to include themselves in an episode and explain how executives in a main stream media outlet stood causally by as hate speech against President Trump is treated as benign, but react with violent convulsions against Roseanne’s tweet.
There’s so many episode possibilities that already work with the Connor family and can have the same mix of sobering hard reality with entertainment in the same way the Opioid crisis, illegal immigration etc. is handled. Season 2: Roseanne Connor, who doesn’t know herself to have any racist tendencies, in a moment of her own insecurity and fear (maybe Dan is underbid by an African American company) and who just learned to tweet, lets loose with a racist tweet. It draws media attention in Lanford, and then nationally. The main stream media demonize her while tolerating other hate speech. Her son and the bi-racial grandchild she loves leave her for good. She is stunned to be put in the same basket as the KKK she loathes, but who celebrate her as a hero, etc. and so on. The show seems designed for this very purpose.
It’s surprising that with all of the creative minds at ABC it didn’t take a moment to figure out that since the Roseanne show is designed for the very purpose of bringing to light problems plaguing America, that they could make Season 2 exactly that. Or maybe they did, and they just didn’t want to. There’s also a political germ plaguing causing division in America, and main stream media network executives are particularly hard hit.