TV Insiders Fire Back Over ‘Roseanne’ Joke

Apr 6, 2018  •  Post A Comment

A joke on the latest installment of the ABC sitcom “Roseanne” sparked a backlash, including rebukes from a number of TV insiders.

The scene in the revival’s third episode, which aired April 3, finds the characters played by Roseanne Barr and John Goodman waking up on the couch after sleeping through a night of television.

Says Roseanne: “It’s 11 p.m.. We slept from ‘Wheel’ to ‘Kimmel.'”

Answers Dan, played by Goodman: “We missed all the shows about black and Asian families.” The comment suggests a reference to ABC’s “black-ish” and “Fresh off the Boat.”

Roseanne then chimes in: “They’re just like us. There, now you’re all caught up.”

The vignette has become the focus of a lot of attention in the industry, including a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter by former “Fresh off the Boat” writer and former “How I Met Your Mother” writer and executive producer Kourtney Kang.

Kang draws parallels between the “Roseanne” bit and hurtful jokes she has heard throughout her life.

“In these jokes, and in the others like these, at the heart of them, whether the joke-teller means it or not, is a divisive spirit,” she writes. “‘Us.’ ‘Them.’ It’s always drawing lines. Separating. Whenever these jokes have been said to me, the thing that is the most hurtful is not the insensitive dullard who said it. There’s always going to be people like that. What hurts the most is when everyone else in the room laughs.”

We encourage readers to click on the link above to THR to read Kang’s column.

Another critic of the “Roseanne’ segment surfaced on Twitter, where “Bob’s Burgers” writer Kelvin Yu released a nine-part response to the joke. You can see it below …


  1. The names of the shows are BLACK-ISH and FRESH OFF THE BOAT, but it’s wrong to make any racial connection?

  2. This show sadly jumped the shark this week. Way early but it’s bad.

    • 1000% agree. The acting is so forced, which shocks me from this group. Darlene is about the only natural character in the bunch. They ordered more too early.

  3. I watched the second episode of “Roseanne” this week with the firm expectation that the second episode would, indeed, expose the series as crass encounters with stultifying nonsense, low-class insults, and a tedious lack of humor or well-written situations. And I was right.

  4. Boo doing who. What about artistic freedom of speech? Is that not what liberals always cry about. If you don’t like it, turn the channel. The End

    • I’m not a liberal and you sound like a child. Grow up and respect others in the world. Tv is meant to be criticed.

  5. Oh my god. Lighten up folks…sheesh

  6. Good Grief, People. Like Fox News and Rush on the Radio, Roseanne is aimed at a specific audience and will pander to that audience. What a shock ! What a surprise that this is the level of their “humor”. “Albert” offers a good approach. If you disapprove, do not watch. But, also let ABC-Disney and their advertisers know DIRECTLY—NOT through social media—that you and your family and friends are NOT watching. That’s what will make the difference. BTW– morons and bigots do have a right to express their views and I, for one, would rather allow that than this drive to “political correctness” which censors anything not perfectly neutral. People need to remember that censorship can be used against ANY opinion and often is.
    And as ABC proves again, the “real” arbiter of what is or is not in good taste is CAN WE SELL IT .

  7. If the ABC (and most of the network shows) were not total garbage, Roseanne or anyone wouldn’t be able to take shots at them. No one was able to knock All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Cheers, Seinfeld, Cosby, Frasier, Sanford and Son, or other legendary shows because THEY WERE ACTUALLY FUNNY. Now, you’ve got “comedies” on ABC and NBC, and even CBS, that are just not watchable, let alone funny…For example, Superstore on NBC has to feature some of the most horrible acting ever. And the writing is god awful. That is the typical train wreck on network TV these days, and the anemic ratings prove my point. Apparently, the good writers have all gone to Netflix and other places. My point is, the shows on now are vulnerable to shots from Roseanne and other places, because they are INDEFENSIBLY BAD.

  8. For all of the slams against our President, his family, and other Republicans that go without comment by the left, this is so absurd. Start policing your own side of the aisle before going against two insignificant comedies – both of which I watched, but gave up on. On Fresh Off The Boat, the theme song sounded like Fresh Off The Bus and the lead actor was so bad, I had to quit watching. The only redeeming character was the wife. Blackish was interesting until they got political. The best recent Black show was The Carmichael Show. They went after highly controversial themes and did their best to provide both sides of the argument. Too bad the lead character decided to call it quits (or so they say) so soon.

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