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.”
Advertisement
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

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.