Roseanne reboot under fire for joke about 'black and Asian families'

  • 06/04/2018

The latest episode of Roseanne has come under fire for a controversial joke aimed at TV shows about "black and Asian families".

It comes after the show's lead star and creator, Roseanne Barr, has faced criticism for several allegedly racist and homophobic remarks in the past, and is a public supporter of Donald Trump.

In recent years, she's made headlines with statements labelling Palestinians and Muslims "Nazis", calling for the killing of all non-Jewish students and staff at the University of California and propagating inflammatory right-wing fake news.

In the new episode of Roseanne, entitled 'Roseanne Gets the Chair', the titular main character and her husband Dan Conner (John Goodman) wake up from an evening nap in front of the TV.

"What time is it? Did I miss dinner?" Dan asks.

"It's 11," Roseanne says. "We slept from Wheel to Kimmel."

"We missed all the shows about black and Asian families," Dan says.

"They're just like us - there, now you're all caught up," she replies.

People have been quick to point out that the TV shows they're referring to are probably ABC's only two minority-led family sitcoms: Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat.

Black-ish is an American sitcom centered around an upper-middle-class African-American family, and FOB is a sitcom about a Taiwanese immigrant family in America.

Taiwanese-American actor, writer and producer Kelvin Yu slammed Roseanne over the joke in a nine-tweet thread.

"Here's why the Roseanne joke about 'missing all the shows about Black and Asian families' matters," he wrote wrote.

"At the very least, it's reductive and belittling, as if to say those shows are nothing more than 'Black' and 'Asian' in their existence. But the real kicker is when Roseanne says: 'They're just like us. There, now you're all caught up.' Which implies that the point of any show about a minority family is simply to normalise them. That's it. The stories, the humour, the characters... not important," the Master of None actor continued.

"Then you take ALLLLLL of that and put it in the mouth of an avowed Trump supporter (not the actress - the CHARACTER of Roseanne) and you have one stinky little shit sandwich of a joke that ABC allowed to be served in their own restaurant. It's a big deal."

Others have supported his statements, with one tweeter calling Roseanne "a bad racist joke of a caricature/person. So sad."

Barr has previously confirmed President Trump himself called her to congratulate her on the shows' opening ratings.