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There has been no show on TV with the highs and lows like the recent Roseanne revival. The new season debuted to record breaking numbers, and was renewed almost immediately after it premiered. While it looked like Roseanne was here to stay, that all changed due to creator/star Roseanne Barr's Twitter feed. Barr took to Twitter Tuesday night attacking former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett in what has been deemed as racist rhetoric. The hammer fell hard on Barr, and ABC cancelled Roseanne as the controversy reached a fever pitch. While the conversation about the scandal continues to spiral, we now have a greater look at how the writers found out, and it's pretty tragic; executive producer Dave Caplan recently revealed it all happened on the first day of work for Season 2. As he describes it,
I drove in to work. It was the first day for the writing staff of the next 13 shows. We knew that it was going to be a kind of a bittersweet greeting of the new writers because we had really wonderful talent scheduled to write the next 13 episodes. We also knew that we couldn't start [that day]. We hadn't found out that ABC had canceled the show yet, but we also knew that none of us were in the frame of mind to start writing the show under the circumstances. We got together as a group for the first time and there was a lot of bittersweet hellos --- and a couple hours later, a lot of very difficult goodbyes.
It looks like the dark cloud of Roseanne Barr's Twitter tirade loomed over everyone involved in Roseanne. Because while the writers showed up for the first day of work, they knew deep down it was probably going to be their last.
Dave Caplan's comments to THR really do paint a picture of what it was like for the Roseanne crew directly following the star and creator's offensive comments gripped the nation. While the show's cancellation was certainly a shock, the writing appeared to be on the wall after the tweet storm. Given that ABC was in the middle of cancellation season, now wasn't the best time for Barr to cause such a stir. And with shows like House of Cards and Transparent setting a trend by firing their controversial leads, there was a precedent set ahead of Roseanne's cancellation.
Aside from ABC, there have been a variety of Roseanne cast and crew members who have vocally admonished Roseanne Barr's comments about Valarie Jarrett. Barr has recently began firing back on Twitter, despite her earlier claim to be quitting the social media platform. She also revealed that the sleeping drug ambien was in her system at the time of the show-ending tweets, at least partially blaming the substance for her lack of judgement.