In Re Barr and the Bee

With regards the fact that Samantha Bee still has a job on television while Roseanne Barr does not, I see four possibilities.

1. Some unknown authority has issued a secret decree to the effect that an offensive sexist slur is less egregious than an offensive racist slur.

2. The leadership at TBS lack the courage and conviction of the leadership at ABC.

3. An educated progressive immigrant can get away with things that an native-born high-school dropout cannot.

4. Some combination of the above.

I am no fan of Barr or her politics, and I find Bee’s show rather more entertaining than Roseanne’s ever was, even though Samantha and I roost on distant squares of the political plane.

That said, I find both sets of comments equally loathsome, and if one of these two comedians deserves to be collecting unemployment for her  remarks, both do.

Advertisements

Author: David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.

One thought on “In Re Barr and the Bee”

  1. You’ve missed a crucial difference: Rosanne was on free-to-air, in prime time; Samantha’s show is on cable, behind a paywall.

    There are *loads* of shows on cable that go way, way beyond “Roseanne” level of slavering racist — but they’re on cable!

    At the end of the day, ABC made a business decision. Their platform, their rules.

    This isn’t about objective or even subjective measures of “offense” (which is always *taken* never *given* by the way) — this is about ABC measuring what it was going to cost to keep a racist buffoon on the air, and realising that cost was only going to keep going up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s