ABC Axes Roseanne Barr Over Racist Tweet yet Joy Behar is Still On Air Despite Likening Prayer to Mental Illness
ABC has been accused of hypocrisy for cancelling comedian, Roseanne Barr’s show after she made a racist joke on Twitter, while keeping The View on air despite the shocking things it’s co-host Joy Behar has said about Christianity.
Although the ‘Roseanne’ remake was a huge hit with over 21 million viewers the series was axed after it’s leading actress made a huge error of judgement off air. She compared one of Barack Obama’s top advisers, Valerie Jarrett to an animal with Islamic connections. “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj,” she tweeted.
While this tweet is highly offensive, this is the kind of bad taste ‘joke’ one could expect from a foul-mouthed comedian. To be funny in today’s warped world of entertainment it seems you are expected to insult and demean others, but you still need to stay politically correct.
In a similar incident, related to ABC, Joy Behar insulted US Vice President Mike Pence on air, suggesting his religious views made him mentally ill. “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct, hearing voices,” she said.
Mental health is a huge area of concern today and describing the everyday act of prayer, which is practised by millions of Christians, a mental health issue is also highly offensive.
Both women offered their sincere apologies, one immediately, while the other took weeks to do so. One was fired on the spot and the other continues to be on TV. It’s not hard to see why ABC is being accused of hypocrisy. It’s not ok to make racist comments nor is it ok to joke about mental health or demean someone’s religion.
“The mainstream media need to understand the importance of faith, put hypocrisy aside and treat Christians with respect.”
In a country where freedom of speech is celebrated it seems incredible that a person can be fired for one tweet or inappropriate comment, especially if they have apologised. ABC is entitled to act as they see fit, however, they should act consistently and with the same force with regard to racist jokes as to inappropriate comments about mental health or faith. From a Christian perspective, we who are called to be peacemakers should challenge all parties to walk in forgiveness.
We can commend Valerie Jarrett’s response to the debacle: “I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment. I’m fine,” she said. “I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends who come right to their defence… and those ordinary examples of racism that happen every single day.”
US Vice President, Mike Pence
We can also comment the Vice President’s response: While pointing out that the mainstream media are out of touch with the faith and values of the American people, he chose to forgive. “One of the things my faith teaches me is grace; forgive as you’ve been forgiven.”
It’s unfortunate that America remains a divided country and it seems Roseanne ended up on the wrong side of the political landscape for ABC. It’s time for Americans to unite, across the political divide and to start respecting each other again and especially the nation’s leaders.
Hopefully Roseanne has learnt a valuable lesson from this, but so have we. To be careful what we say even on Twitter. 280 characters can end your career in an instant. Let’s hope Joy will think twice before berating Christians or people with mental health issues. Other religions would not tolerate such abuse and neither should we, but unlike other religions we will respond with God’s love, His grace and His forgiveness.
ABC and the mainstream media need to start understanding the importance of the faith and values of the American people, put hypocrisy aside and treat Christians with respect.