By now, you’ve likely seen that Roseanne Barr, noted celebrity Republican and star of the rebooted ABC sitcom Roseanne, tweeted this about former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, a black woman:
As you might imagine, the blatant racism of comparing a black person to an ape did not go over well. After initially defending the tweet as a “joke,” someone apparently talked sense into Barr, or at least threatened her with sufficient professional consequences—she deleted the original tweet and posted these two apologies:
It remains to be seen what action Disney, ABC's parent company, will take…if any. But there's an interesting point of comparison here. Jemele Hill, an ESPN employee (like ABC, ESPN is a Disney subsidiary), was suspended last October for a pair of social media posts that obviously rubbed her employers the wrong way. The first was a thread calling Trump a white supremacist:
And the second was endorsing the idea of a boycott after Cowboys owner Jerry Jones threatened to bench his players for exercising their right to protest by kneeling during the anthem:
Both are Disney employees, and incidents took place on Twitter, so we have a very simple question to ask:
If defending the first amendment and pointing out white supremacy on Twitter comes with a suspension, what penalty does overt racism incur?
And, if the answer isn't “something worse,” here's a follow-up: Why does Disney hypocritically cater to the ideology of its right-wing base? Or, alternatively, why does it fear them more?
UPDATE: This post officially has the shortest Internet shelf life of all time. Moments after publishing, this announcement came out: