Roseanne Barr uncorked one vile, racially-charged Tweet and found her career reduced to rubble.
Barr broke boundaries for women with “Roseanne,” the 1980s sitcom that gave blue-collar women an empathetic closeup.
She also delivered roughly 30 million viewers per show to ABC, with its 2017 reboot flooding the network’s coffers anew.
That single Tweet ended it all, and it looked like we’d seen the last of the self-described “domestic goddess.”
Now, Barr is prepping an exclusive comeback for FOX Nation five years after ABC’s dismissal. And she’s hardly the only “canceled” person, or property, given new life.
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“A Roseanne Comedy Special” marks Barr’s first stand-up program in 16 years. No platform, large or small, considered Barr worthy of redemption.
FOX Nation did.
The rise of alternative platforms offers hope for a cancel-free tomorrow. It also might encourage stars to speak up, knowing they have a safety net should the hard Left demand their professional hides.
The Daily Wire similarly picked up Gina Carano after Disney unfairly fired her for a social media message its PR team twisted into something hateful. Carano lost her representation and likely faced long odds against any kind of comeback following her “Mandalorian” dismissal.
Instead, Carano headlined the web site’s “Terror on the Prairie” and snagged a small but pivotal part in “My Son Hunter,” distributed by Breitbart News.
That film, a comic assault on Hunter Biden’s alleged crimes, also gave Laurence Fox his first gig in two years. The British star, best known for TV’s “Lewis,” shares views on the pandemic and “systemic racism” considered anathema in show business but held by millions.
FOX Nation seems keen on redeeming stars and projects erased too soon.
The platform is also bringing back “COPS,” the long-running reality show canceled by the Paramount Network following the death of George Floyd following an altercation with Minneapolis police officers. Black Lives Matter demanded Americans shrink police departments nationwide following Floyd’s death, and Hollywood felt pressure to trim shows that depicted law enforcement in a positive light.
“COPS” didn’t go away after 31 years on the air for any real or perceived crimes. It wasn’t a matter of low ratings, either. The Cancel Culture movement, fueled by protests following Floyd’s death, demanded pro-police stories be silenced.
That’s also why A&E killed “Live PD,” a similar reality show showcasing police officers in action.
“Last Week Tonight’s” John Oliver personally kept that argument alive earlier this month.
Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” survived that purge, but the show’s writing team overhauled its final season to include pro-BLM narratives.
All new “COPS” episodes, exclusive to FOX Nation, begin airing Sept. 30.
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Some stars are permanently canceled for good reasons. Even if Harvey Weinstein escaped the long arm of the law, the crush of credible accusations against him suggests he’s not fit to produce another movie ever again.
The same holds for fallen icon Bill Cosby, who similarly won’t find work from a mainstream platform following dozens, and dozens, of sexual abuse allegations.
Other stars deserve a second chance.
They may have stumbled on the public stage or simply held views the industry considers unacceptable. Louis C.K., who admitted to sexually exposing himself to several women, isn’t waiting for a platform to embrace him anew.
He built a comeback on his own terms, leaning on forgiving fans along the way.
Others lack fan bases large enough to power their comebacks. They have little chance of finding industry work on their own.
Or, to be more accurate, “had” little chance.
Emerging platforms see these redemption cases as either morally important, potentially lucrative or both. Their collective impact could transform Hollywood.
Traditional studios may realize canceled stars no longer stay canceled despite their draconian measures. Or, they may watch them shine anew on different platforms and regret they canceled them in the first place.
Stars may become bolder in their work and opinions as a result.