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 …