Which ABC Showrunner Threatened Protest Over Roseanne Barr’s Tweet?

ABC/Adam Rose

We’re now finding out that the fallout over Roseanne Barr‘s controversial tweets could’ve been even worse for ABC.

Kenya Barris, the showrunner behind the network’s hit Black-ish, as well as Freeform’s spinoff grown-ish, revealed this week that he was ready to stir up a media storm after seeing Barr’s racist comments about former Obama administration advisor Valerie Jarrett. The TV heavyweight said, prior to Roseanne‘s abrupt cancellation, he’d planned to take on both the comedian and the network personally by making news appearances.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 21: Kenya Barris speaks onstage at The 75th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street on May 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Peabody Awards)

Kenya Barris.

“I was going to go crazy. I was going to call my agent and go on (CNN’s) Don Lemon and other shows,” Barris said to Variety at their panel for diversity in TV writers’ rooms. Barris’ decision was made shortly before ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey announced the cancellation of Barr’s show.

“It was amazing. Having Channing at the head and having Bob (Iger) be supportive,” he continued about the network’s quick action. That’s not to say that everything he had to say about ABC was positive.

Barris offered up an analogy about ABC’s decision to hire Barr, in spite of her controversial tendencies. He said the tweet was “an indefensible moment but at the same time, you hired a monster and then you asked why the monster was killing villagers.”

Following the show’s axing, Barris posted a simple statement to Instagram, “Bye-bye!!!”

Bye-bye!!! @maxstryker #channingdungey 🙏🏾

A post shared by Kenya Barris (@kenyab_in_imax3d) on

It’s easy to imagine the drama would be entirely different if Barris had the time to protest Barr’s tweet on a public stage…

Black-ish, Returns Fall 2018, ABC