In case you are living under a rock, the basics: Roseanne the show was revived this year and renewed and was going to return for a new season next year. Roseanne tweeted out some racist stuff yesterday, the latest in a pattern of terrible things she has tweeted and ABC had enough and cancelled the show. I’ve seen several posts on Facebook this morning where people are defending her and saying they should not have cancelled the show. It happens every time there is a high-profile firing over a tweet or statement like this. So, here are my thoughts on Roseanne specifically, and the issue of firing people over things like this generally.
First, Roseanne. I will admit that I was watching the show. I was a fan of the show when it was on before and wanted to see what they did with the revival. By the end, I was watching more out of habit than out of enjoyment. The stories were more shallow than I had hoped, most of the cast are terrible actors(Roseanne included) and the show just wasn’t that fun. I don’t think I would have watched the next season. I justified watching by focusing on how the rest of the cast and most of the writers did not share her views.
The cancellation: It was not a firing over one specific tweet. This was a firing based upon a pattern of horrible things she has stated and tweeted. I think she felt she was untouchable because the show was popular. I think the president praising her made her feel even more invulnerable. Turns out she was wrong. It’s good to see that being popular does not always mean you can get away with being a terrible person.
Now, generally: Do I think someone should lose their job over one tweet? I would say no if it is really one tweet. Do I think someone should lose their job over a pattern of such tweets and/or public statements? Yes. You are a reflection of your employer, especially if you are a public figure. Even in my case where I am not a public figure and try as much as possible to separate my online life from my work life(Facebook says I am a Common Tater at Tater World Headquarters) I still sometimes use my Facebook and Twitter accounts to publicize work events. My last blog post directed you to a post from my employer(I’m losing the likes fight. You should go like it. Click here) So, it doesn’t take a genus to figure out who I am and where I work. I would like to think that I would be forgiven if I posted something that offended someone because I’m not in the habit of posting offensive things(I don’t think? Perhaps you all hate me already). But, if I started posting conspiracy theories and racist stuff on a regular basis, I would not be shocked if I lost my job. MPOW would not want to be associated with someone life that and I would agree with them.
Before you start screaming FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Freedom of Speech protects you from the government restricting your freedom og speech. It does not protect you from the consequences of said speech. It doesn’t mean you can’t be fired. It doesn’t mean you can’t be kicked off Twitter. It doesn’t mean someone can’t delete your comments from a privately owned website. No one’s freedom of speech is being violated here.
Also – stop with the what aboutisms. I’m so tired of hearing “but what about The View?” I’m not defending them, but saying someone else got away with it, so no one should face consequences is stupid.