Why Is Roseanne Shading Diverse Shows On ABC?

Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Adam Rose..
It's not just liberals the Roseanne reboot is taking shots at. In the most recent episode, "Roseanne Gets The Chair," the show turned on the network itself, taking swipes at other ABC family sitcoms — specifically, those led by minorities. On Tuesday night's episode, Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) and Dan (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 replies. “We slept from ‘Wheel’ to ‘Kimmel.'”
“We missed all the shows about Black and Asian families,” Dan says.
“They’re just like us,” she says. “There, now you’re all caught up.”
If they slept from Wheel to Kimmel, that means they were watching ABC, and as Indiewire points out, the two shows on ABC featuring Black and Asian families are Blackish and Fresh Off The Boat.
Immediately dismissing the already disparate number of shows led by minorities doesn't help the show's already rocky standing thanks to Roseanne Barr's recent tweets (although the show's ratings are strong), and is exacerbated when you remember that one of the first controversies surrounding the show came after it boldly proclaimed it was "the family that looks like us" during its trailer debut at the 2018 Oscars. For all its efforts to represent a normal, middle-class American family, the show seems to be doing all it can to stay white, despite the fact that the middle class it seeks to represent is becoming increasingly diverse.
Having a white family front and center doesn't stop people from all backgrounds tuning in, but when the protagonist snidely comments that minorities are "just like us," it sends a message that any nuances or discrimination experienced by American families of color aren't important or worth listening to.
Representatives for Roseanne and Fresh Off The Boat declined to comment. ABC and Blackish did not return Refinery29's request for comment by the time of publication.
Read These Stories Next:

More from TV

R29 Original Series