In case you blinked on Tuesday, May 29, here's the news: ABC cancelled its show Roseanne after the lead actress sent a pretty racist tweet. Within a day, Roseanne Barr, who has been a vocal Trump supporter, sent the tweet, apologized (kind of) and the network cancelled her show. By the next day, lots of public figures had something to say about the tweet, the actress, and her support of President Donald Trump. That includes The View host Meghan McCain, who slammed Trump after Roseanne was cancelled.
McCain came out swinging, making sure there was no confusion about Barr's comments, which compared a former Obama adviser, who is black, to an ape. During a discussion on The View on May 30, she said the comment was "blatantly, patently the definition of racism." Then she turned her sights to the White House and said it was refreshing to see a company like ABC, which also owns The View, take the high road — particularly because the White House doesn't.
I’ve been so disheartened by what’s acceptable in the world right now, what’s acceptable in the White House. It’s refreshing to see someone take a stand and say 'No, not at ABC. Not at this company. This is not acceptable rhetoric.' And it's interesting that ABC holds a higher standard to their employees than apparently the White House does.
I'd say that's a pretty solid burn. But more importantly, it's a pretty solid point.
With her fiery remarks, McCain pointed out that ABC was drawing a clear line about what is and is not acceptable discourse from a public figure, something the White House has often declined to do. For example, there's the time Trump dished out his own terrible comments, reportedly referring to African countries as "sh*thole countries." (Trump denied using the language.) Or how Trump continued to support Roy Moore, even after the Alabama candidate for Senate had been accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls. Moore denied the allegations, calling them "fake news."
Closer to home, in May, a White House aide reportedly said that Sen. John McCain's concerns about CIA Director Gina Haspel's nomination didn't matter because "he's dying anyway," according to The Los Angeles Times. John McCain is fighting brain cancer and has not been in the public eye since December, according to TIME. The aide was reportedly disciplined "internally" and kept her job, per Vox.
Unsurprisingly, Meghan McCain decried the comments and suggested that the aide should not keep her job. Also on The View on May 11, she said, "I don't understand what kind of environment you're working in when that would be acceptable, and then you can come to work the next day and still have a job," according to CNN. I'm guessing that's the same environment she was thinking of when she slammed Trump's White House for having less integrity than ABC.
Only a day before McCain's response, Barr sent the now-infamous tweet that eventually lead to her show's cancellation. On the morning of Tuesday, May 29, Barr sent a tweet comparing Valerie Jarrett, a former Obama adviser, to being the child of the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes. The comment used an age-old, racist trope comparing people who are black to monkeys. Barr later deleted the tweet, and sent out an apology on Twitter. She said it was a "bad joke," but her apology wasn't enough to stop ABC from cancelling her show.
ABC issued a statement the same day saying that the show would be cancelled. "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values," the network said in a statement, according to CNN. The show, Roseanne, was rebooted earlier this year and often made headlines because Barr's character was a Trump supporter, just like Barr herself. It was widely popular when it premiered, drawing in 18 million viewers, according to CNN.
McCain, a Republican, admitted that she had also liked the show. In fact, after the show premiered, she praised the show for its depiction of Trump supporters. "I really loved it. I thought it was a really, pitch-perfect take on what a lot of real Trump supporters feel," she said, adding that most media depictions of Trump supporters are negative.
For his part, President Trump weighed in on the network's decision to cancel the show, suggesting that the network was being unfair in its treatment.
Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that “ABC does not tolerate comments like those” made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?
Other conservatives and supporters of the show also claimed unfair treatment, according to USA Today, saying that liberal views are often allowed to be aired without consequence. But McCain had a few thoughts on that, too. In the same segment, she said she liked Roseanne and the fact that it gave a voice to "middle America," but these comments were beyond that.
"This is not about being a conservative, OK?" she said. "This is about you being a racist."
I couldn't have said it better myself.