June 24, 2018

About Roseanneless "Roseanne" and persons "of colors."

I'm trying to read "How ABC changed ‘Roseanne’ into ‘The Conners’ and kept the status quo/The frustrating reality of the entertainment industry" by Monica Castillo at The Lily (which is a woman-oriented offshoot of The Washington Post).

Castillo objects to the new version of the show — "Roseanne" without Roseanne — because the actors and writers employed on the old show could have been used to produce a completely new show. Castillo then gives us this paragraph (as if it supports the proposition that a completely new show should be devised to keep the the old show's people employed):
Yesterday, the Directors Guild of America published their diversity figures for movie directors, revealing a shocking. but not entirely surprising statistic: There were fewer directors of colors helming movies last year than in 2013....
Directors of colors? Is that how we talk now? Is there some idea that because "directors" is plural that you should also pluralize "color"? That's not the grammar rule I was taught in high school by an English teacher who justified the rule by maintaining that it is manifestly ridiculous to say to a group of people "use your heads" (because it creates the image of individuals with more than one head).

Maybe the plural seemed to express Castillo's interest in colors other than black (and "directors of color" seemed to signify only black directors). But maybe it's just a typo. Later in the column, I do see "directors of color."

Anyway — beyond that strange phrase — I don't see what the interest in employing more nonwhite directors has to do with whether John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, et al., do a completely new show or play the familiar roles of Dan and Darlene Conner.

That question has to do with what will draw an audience. I wonder how the new show will be promoted. The message will be:

Hey, don't you want to watch "Roseanne" without Roseanne? You loved "Roseanne" so much that you'll love it without Roseanne, who had to go because... well, you know, for that reason we don't what to talk about anymore, and we hope that you remember so you'll know why this is "Roseanne" without Roseanne, but you won't want to reopen the question why she had to be made a total outcast from all polite society.

Putting that in writing, I'm thinking I'd be interested in a new show, starring Roseanne Barr, about the greatest woman in the history of television, who Ambien-tweeted a stupid joke that everyone took to be racist and who got kicked out of her own TV home and who is now ranting and raving — watching "Roseanne" without Roseanne on the TV in her home on a nutty macadamia farm in Hawaii.

60 comments:

Fernandinande said...

Those son of a bitches should learn their pluralizin'.

rhhardin said...

It's like attorney general.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The greatest woman in the history of television sitcom is Lucille Ball. In the history of television more broadly, it’s Oprah.

Mike Sylwester said...

I suggest a TV series about a funny, erratic woman who tweets while taking Ambien.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

A weekly panel show, chaired by Roseanne, dedicated to discussing recent episodes of the new Connors show along with anything else that strikes their fancy. A bit like Chelsea Handler used to do.

virgil xenophon said...

@Left Bank/

Lucille Ball said it was Ann Southern hands down..

(P.S., I'm a fossil, I remember these things..)

pious agnostic said...

When you make an ugly comment about an Obama consigliere, you will be punished.

When you make an ugly comment about a Trump consigliere, you will be lauded.

Prove me wrong.

Rory said...

My guess is that Hollywood lawyers made sure she can't do a new show that monetizes her relationship with the old show.

virgil xenophon said...

@Left Bank/

PPS: I watched both on TV when they were contemporaries and I'm inclined to agree with Lucille. YMMV..

Ryan said...

Good idea Althouse! I would watch that show.

Or how about Rosanne running a support group for the overly woke.

chickelit said...

I want to learn and to read more about the ABC executives of colors who are so hellbent on punishing Roseanne — so hellbent that they are willing to risk the livelihoods of the remaining cast members on an obvious PC television adventure.

rehajm said...

The greatest woman in the history of television was Roseannes title in a previous story. Likely greatest meant greatest = brought in the most money. Lucy worked in 1940s economics and Oprah didn’t run in syndication heaven. Roseanne was a cash cow.

Would calling Roseanne a ‘cash cow’cause me to lose my show?

Ann Althouse said...

"The greatest woman in the history of television sitcom is Lucille Ball. In the history of television more broadly, it’s Oprah"

I made the assertion in this post 2 days ago, and there's plenty of discussion of it in the comments, including by me, bringing up both Lucille Ball and Oprah, who I believe are the chief competition. I put Roseanne first because of the scope of her role creating the character and the setting. Lucille Ball was a great performer, better than Roseanne, but I don't think she was the creative force to the same extent.

Roseanne created her character within the standup process, and the idea was developed and just about fully formed within a solo act before it was brought to TV.

richlb said...

My favorite Onion headline of all time was:

William Safire Orders Two Whoppers Junior

Ann Althouse said...

And Roseanne has returned to where she came from. She's on her own again. I would love to see her rise from the ashes.

Bob Boyd said...

Roseanne is the Muhammad Ali of female television personalities. She thinks like a butterfly and tweets like a bee.

J. E. Malthaus said...

"... I'm thinking I'd be interested in a new show, starring Roseanne Barr, about the greatest woman in the history of television, who Ambien-tweeted a stupid joke that everyone took to be racist and who got kicked out of her own TV home and who is now ranting and raving — watching "Roseanne" without Roseanne on the TV in her home on a nutty macadamia farm in Hawaii..."

This made me think of something along the lines of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm".

Roseanne the TV Star-turned-Pariah is herself, doing the 'Bill Murray Thing' of dropping in on groups of tourists at drunken parties and luaus, getting into uncomfortable scenes at supermarkets of Hawaiians buying Spam, perhaps a Hollywood Exec visiting to pitch her an edgy comedy about a blue-collar mother in Illinois whose entire family dies in a tragic accident involving their car being hit by a slow-moving train...

-LWL

Mary Beth said...

but you won't want to reopen the question why she had to be made a total outcast from all polite society.

"Polite society". I'm sure they think of themselves that way but I don't.

robother said...

Ann's idea works, because it adds the key ingredient of the new and old Roseanne series: Roseanne's blunt commentary on what's really going on.

n.n said...

There were different colors of diversity on "Planet of the Apes", some apes, some humans, all colorfully diverse. This incident reminds me of the black hole... I mean, whore, conundrum, and profit-making cycle.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
And Roseanne has returned to where she came from. She's on her own again. I would love to see her rise from the ashes."

Althouse is now officially an Althouse Hillbilly.

Fernandinande said...

I fingered it out! A "person of colors" has vitiligo. Yay!

Darrell said...

According to Siskel and Ebert, Roseanne stole the comedy act of Judy Tenuta, almost outright. Tenuta was playing small comedy clubs in Chicago. Roseanne had seen Tanuta's show several times, then went back to LA. After some success in Chicago, Tenuta went to LA and started to get booed off the stage--people had seen Roseanne's "act," including Tenuta's jokes verbatim. Tenuta's central premise was that people--especially men "worshiped" her--She called this phenomenon "Judyism." Roseanne called herself a "Domestic Goddess" worshiped by all. Siskel and Ebert were the only ones that came to Tenuta's defense, having seen Tentuta the first or second time she took the stage and knowing that date. LA people stuck with Roseanne--and Roseanne was already preparing a show for ABC. I never hear the details of any followup. I suspect Roseanne and Tenuta worked it out in private. Tenuta changed her act--I know that--and I can't see her doing that without some compensation.

tcrosse said...

This made me think of something along the lines of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm".

Roseanne could play the Susie Essman part herself.

Bay Area Guy said...

AA sez: ". I would love to see her rise from the ashes."

See that's why: (1) we love you and (2) you're not as liberal (modern useage) as you think.

The primary weapon in the Leftist arsenal is the cry of "racism". And it's not calling ole Jefferson Davis from Mississippi circa 1860 a racist - that's easy.

It's tagging current folks as "racists" to take their jobs, take their money and hopefully "guilt" folks into adopting a more favorable leftist political agenda of redistribution.

This is was the playbook used at most major universities to adopt African-America studies departments, affirmative action and generalized liberal nonsense policies.

If you multiply the charge of "Racism" with the charge of "Trump supporter," oh boy, you're labelling the target as David Duke and said target must be shamed, shunned, and marginalized.

That's where Roseanne Barr sits today. She can only be rehabilitated if she gets "woke" and starts denouncing Trump, and begging her Hollywood overlords for forgiveness.

Mike Sylwester said...

It's easier to say colored directors.

Sebastian said...

"that everyone took to be racist"

That progs conveniently construed as racist.

Sebastian said...

"It's easier to say colored directors."

Careful! Thought police alert!

This comes close to saying "colored person," which is very different from saying "person of color."

Proceed accordingly, and stay away from ambien.

William said...

Here are some dark thoughts that I would only express anonymously on the internet: Just before he was executed, King Charles looked at the crowd and told them that if they treated him, their king, in such a way, think how they will treat you when you fall out of favor......The punishment that Roseanne is receiving is wildly disprortionate to her offense. If they can treat her in such a way for a bad joke and this when whites are in the majority, think what will happen when whites lose their numerical superiority. It won't be pretty......Obama's other grandmother is a Luo, a minority tribe in Kenya. The Luos in Kenya have been subject to several massacres. Many now live in refugee camps where the women are raped by the UN forces guarding them. So far as I know, Obama has never spoken out against their ill treatment and no Kenyan athlete has taken the knee in protest when the Kenyan national anthem is played. It's no fun being a member of a minority in Kenya......If you're a member of a minority anywhere, there's a good chance you're going to get screwed. I don't want to become a minority.

rcocean said...

How many successful comedians stole someone else's act?

Probably a lot.

Execution is prized more than originality.

rcocean said...

So, why isn't Fox or some other network giving Barr a deal for her own TV show?

She was very popular. I wonder if Disney is paying her off.

RichAndSceptical said...

ABC just wanted an excuse to get rid of Roseanne; otherwise, they would have invited Valerie Jarrett to appear in the 1st episode next year and let Roseanne and Jarrett make peace during the show. Huge ratings and win/win/win.

Plus, I go back to my original argument that nothing Roseanne tweeted about Valerie Jarrett is racist according to any accepted definition of racist or racism.

A show based on Roseanne, but without Roseanne, must fail. Conservatives won't watch it and liberals will lose interest within 3 episodes while thinking they won. The biggest loser is Dan (John Goodman). At his age the smart thing to do was keep his mouth shut and walk away.

rcocean said...

If you want diversity why not get some in Network TV & Hollywood execs. Last time I looked every studio was headed by a Jewish Guy. Maybe they can diversify and get someone from the 300 million Americans who aren't Jewish.

Michael K said...


Blogger Rory said...
My guess is that Hollywood lawyers made sure she can't do a new show that monetizes her relationship with the old show.


My understanding is that Roseanne owns the show or a big piece of it.

A lot of Steve Bannon's fortune is based on owning a big piece of "Seinfeld" from his Hollywood days.

Darrell said...

How many successful comedians stole someone else's act?

Stealing one or two jokes? Happens a lot.
Stealing whole acts? The number one sin in comedy.
Why don't you build an act out of "I get no respect!" and see what happens.
But we are living in Bizarro World, so maybe. . .

Darrell said...

My understanding is that Roseanne owns the show or a big piece of it.

Used to--if Friday's reports are accurate. She supposedly agreed to waive all financial participation in the show. Nobody believe that she didn't get a one-time payment for those rights, but as of now, nothing has leaked.

Dixie_Sugarbaker said...

Roseanne made one inappropriate statement and is now labeled a racist although she has appeared to have gone out of her way to hire minorities and support gay rights throughout her whole career. I don't like how in the media and Hollywood, what you say is more important than what you do - this is how yuh get Weinstein and others like him.

Earnest Prole said...

If I owned a television I might care.

Big Mike said...

And Roseanne has returned to where she came from. She's on her own again. I would love to see her rise from the ashes.

@Althouse, me too.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Roseanne's statement was, at worst, ambiguous. Its interpretation was prejudiced and the summary action it provoked was inappropriate a la "black hole", "black whore", etc. incidents.

tim maguire said...

a stupid joke that everyone took to be racist

I was perfectly happy to defend it as not racist, but had to stop when Rosanne decided not to oppose that interpretation.

Anonymous said...

"Directors of colors? Is that how we talk now?...

The "of color" trope is ludicrous enough in itself. There is no need to cogitate further about the various permutations in ludicrousness it undergoes in use.

Rae said...

Just be honest and say "not white". But no, we have to pretend that's not what we mean.

Yancey Ward said...

First, Roseanne Barr won't critique the new show in any way. That she allowed it go forward without her shows that she really does care for her castmates- that was atonement made directly to them and she won't renege on that.

I found the idea of a completely new show with the cast interesting, but it would fail even more spectacularly than the re-reboot is going to.

langford peel said...

Now that is a great idea.

The black head President of ABC wants to replace the white cast of Roseanne with black folks.

What a great idea.

Affirmative action in comedy. What could go wrong?

langford peel said...

The three worst offenders of stealing other peoples acts?

Robin Williams. Carlos Mencia. Amy Shcumer.

Robin Williams stole his original act from Bill Hicks. Everyone knows this.

Mencia stole from every open miker he ever heard. He brags about it. You can see clips on Youtube about it. He had a memorable fight with Joe Rogan about it also all over Youtube.

Amy Shcumer famously stole a routine from the late Patrice O'Neal and is continually accused of stealing material.

So I have no doubt that Roseanne stole the material. It is what she did with it that was genius.

langford peel said...

It is obvious that the black president of ABC wants to make their appeal more "selective" in the manner of Spinal Tap.

langford peel said...

This is an ongoing problem for Hollywood.

Ultra liberal producers want to use more women and people of color as heroes. The world does not want it and does not accept it. That is why Star Wars is failing. That is why they are going to destroy the Marvel movies by replacing the white characters with unbelievable affirmative action replacements. Just as they have destroyed the comics themselves and losing readership by the millions. Soon as enough there is going to be a female Thor, Hispanic Spiderman, Chinese Hulk and female Muslim Captain Marvel.

What they refuse to recognize is an eternal truth. In superheroes as in everything else....White reigns supreme.

Anything else is a sick sad joke.

langford peel said...

You can bullshit all you want but the proof is in the box office.

It will be the same with Social Justice Roseanne.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

The "directors of colors" usage may come from español, or from Castillo's reminder not to forget the browns and tans when getting more Blacks involved.

I'd like to remind everyone that there would be no movies or TV shows to direct if white people hadn't invented movies and TV.

Ann Althouse said...

"After some success in Chicago, Tenuta went to LA and started to get booed off the stage--people had seen Roseanne's "act," including Tenuta's jokes verbatim. Tenuta's central premise was that people--especially men "worshiped" her--She called this phenomenon "Judyism." Roseanne called herself a "Domestic Goddess" worshiped by all."

I remember both of them from this time period and they were not much alike. Roseanne's act was about being a housewife and mother and falling way below normal standards but acting proud of it. One joke was that she figured if at the end of the day the kids weren't dead, she'd done her job. Judy Tenuta didn't use that subject matter but talked about relationships. If there was overlap in the use of the word "goddess" and being proud of herself, but Roseanne didn't present herself as someone who should be worshipped. Tenuta insulted the audience and tried to make people mad, so if she got booed, that may be why. I liked her a lot, but then I thought Andrew Dice Clay was a brilliant satire of masculinity.

Ann Althouse said...

By the way, women as "goddesses" was a pop culture thing in the 80s. I remember being at a dinner where women were discussing (based on some book) the question of which goddess each of them was. Like, are you more an Athena or an Aphrodite?

vanderleun said...

"The Lily (which is a woman-oriented offshoot of The Washington Post)"

"The LILY"??

What a pussified pussy name.

And of course we must note in this case more than others:

"Lilies that fester smell much worse than weeds."

vanderleun said...

".... but then I thought Andrew Dice Clay was a brilliant satire of masculinity."

Never has so much been explained by so little.

daskol said...

I suspect Roseanne's tweet was somehow retaliation for Channing Dungey asserting control over the show's creative direction at TV upfronts a week or so prior. Roseanne's defensive reaction and apparent contrition suggests to me that ape was subconsciously about Ms. Dungey. I wish instead of talking about Ambien Roseanne had instead referenced the traumatic brain injury she'd sufferred as a young woman. That would have been an entertaining mindfuck. Missed opportunity. Would love to have seen people's reaction. My guess: we'll next hear from Roseanne after the new show fails when she'll announce the generous terms of her settlement and announce her next endeavor. Mmm...her triumph is sweet.

rcocean said...

"but then I thought Andrew Dice Clay was a brilliant satire of masculinity."

That it was a "Satire" explains his brief success and subsequent descent into obscurity.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Just another in a long line of expropriations. Took Roseanne's show away from her and made it into their own image. Took Donald Sterling's hot-ticket LA Clippers away from him. Ripped off the senior debtors at GM/Chrysler. Ripped off the dealers. The incessant monument land-grabs. Kelo. All the bankruptcy by lawfare a la Mueller. All the takings. All the asset forfeitures. All the shit busts, all the crummy fines and penalties, all the driving-while-existing laws.

Some fraction of all this is legit, but it's just a question of how many roach parts and mouse turds per thousand you want to allow. When they're on the label under Ingredients, it's too much.

Gahrie said...

Directors of colors? Is that how we talk now?...

The "of color" trope is ludicrous enough in itself. There is no need to cogitate further about the various permutations in ludicrousness it undergoes in use.


Cogitate on this for a moment...if you used the term "colored director" you would be condemned as a racist, especially by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

PM said...

Just call it "Noseanne"