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#1 Posted by Deathstriker (932 posts) -

Hypothetically, if I was running House of Cards I would've fired Spacey and tried to hire someone like Bryan Cranston to replace him. The show is now going to have one final season and I'd guess Claire, his wife, is going to be the main character, which doesn't sound nearly as interesting.

For Roseanne, if possible, killing off her character would've been interesting instead of killing off the entire show, since the actors, writers, camera men, etc didn't do anything wrong and shouldn't be punished, only her. At worst, everyone would've watched the season premiere to see how they handle her death then stop watching, but since John Goodman is such a good actor, I don't see why he along with the family couldn't at least attempt to carry the show. It's not a show I watch so what do I know, but that sucks for the people losing their jobs.

I'm curious how others think similar situations should be handled.

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#3 Posted by Ungodly (397 posts) -

The question is, can the show succeed without said actor? For House of Cards, prior to the Keven Spacy situation I believe they were already working towards ending the show. For Roseanne, I believe that she had full creative control, so I don’t think it’s possible to do it without her.

I’m of the opinion, that the racism was the excuse for firing her, and not the reason. Roseanne has a history of being hard to work with, if I’m not mistaken. So I’m guessing this was a way to cut and run. With Spacey, well dude aught not be fiddling kids. Plus it’s the same situation, where people have said that he’s problematic without the sexual assault allegations.

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#4 Posted by Atlas (2693 posts) -

I agree. It seems really shitty for the people who worked hard on Roseanne who aren't garbage people who ruined their career with inappropriate jokes in an attempt to be "edgy". These people just watched all their hard work flushed down the bog. Everything I've heard about the show made it sound like something people really enjoyed, which meant it probably would've been renewed for another season, meaning people who worked hard to make something good would be rewarded for doing so.

The one argument in defence of cancellation rather than firing is that Roseanne is someone with a track record, and so people who signed on to do the project should probably have known that there was an inherent risk in tying their careers to someone who could blow everything up in one ill-conceived moment (or tweet). Also, many members of the cast and production team announced that they would quit the show before it was officially cancelled, so they sort of made their minds up about it already. People can change their minds and come back once it was clear that the studio wouldn't tolerate Roseanne's behaviour, but by then it seemed too late.

I don't know how you carry on with a show centred around a performer, and named after said performer, if you have to fire said performer. It might happen at some point, but it seems like a logistical nightmare, and until someone tries it, cancellation is going to be the status quo. Your House of Cards example makes sense, but would have required an entire new series to be shot with a new actor, and everyone watching the series would have the bitter taste of Spacey in their mouths (for lack of a better term), so maybe it was best to cut their losses and cancel the show? It had had a good run, after all, and Robin Wright is set for life after she was so great on the show.

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#5 Posted by BoOzak (2284 posts) -

While i'm somewhat curious what Roseanne (dont even know the actresses name) did I think i'd rather not know and the same goes for any other actor/director who does something sketchy. If it isnt a punishable offense I think the show should go on honestly. Not the most popular opinion I know.

Last I heard the show was going to get cancelled before the whole Spacey controversy so it's news to me it's getting a new season. As someone who watched the show I wouldnt have wanted another season after the next anyway but enough of that. To answer your question sure, either dont fire the actor and keep going or replace him. Ending the show seems a bit drastic. I do think it would be funny if the new season opened with Spacey getting hit by a train or something, karmic justice and all that.

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#6 Posted by Dynamix (403 posts) -

In both cases, I believe it ultimately came down to "it's not worth the PR nightmare".

House of Cards was already running out of gas creatively. Even without the Spacey scandal, I doubt it would've went on for much longer. Ending a show after 5+ seasons is totally fine. Replacing the main actor after 5+ seasons is not.

Sure, it sucks that many people will be out of work, but that's TV, shows get cancelled all the time for different reasons (mostly low ratings), while new ones are picked up every year. After starting out strong, Roseanne's ratings started to slip in recent weeks. It's safe to assume that most of the people still watching were fans of the main character. You can't just kill her off after 10 seasons and hope for the best.

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#11 Posted by soulcake (2028 posts) -

It's popular to be "PC" so the networks firing set people is only gonna make them more money in the long term. Looking at you Disney.

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#12 Posted by SethMode (1271 posts) -

@soulcake said:

It's popular to be "PC" so the networks firing set people is only gonna make them more money in the long term. Looking at you Disney.

Two bad takes already in this bad boy. This thread isn't long for this world.

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#15 Posted by BallsLeon (438 posts) -

@sethmode: He's very much into Kramer's standup apparently

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#16 Posted by CupOfDoom (78 posts) -

I don't think Roseanne could continue without Roseanne. Not say the other performers are bad or that John Goodman couldn't carry a show on his own. Just, that her name is on the show and, that a drastic change in dynamic would probably kill the show. Other shows that changed lead characters did not last long after. The same thing with House of Cards. The entire show is based around Kevin Spacey's character. If you get rid of his character then what is the point of the show?

The only time a show could away with it is if its animated. In which case they could change actors and keep the character. Even a show like Game of Thrones might not be able to recover if they were forced to fire an actress like Emila Clarke as, it would take all the wind out the sails for climax the show has spent many seasons building to.

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#17 Posted by Deathstriker (932 posts) -

@cupofdoom: It would definitely be an experiment, but I heard this was ABC's biggest show since Lost and considering it's just people talking in a house, not something costly like Westworld or Game of Thrones, I'd try the show without her.

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#18 Edited by Tesla (2244 posts) -

Username definitely checks out on that Kramer guy with the awful take.

Also, the show is called Roseanne. This makes it difficult to get rid of the actor that plays Roseanne and still keep the show going. House of Cards isn't called The Adventures of Frank Underwood, but the show is pretty much all about that character. Your options there are 1.) have someone else play Underwood 2.) shift the focus of the show to a different character 3.) cancel the show. Honestly, 3 sounds like the safest choice if you're a risk averse company looking to distance itself from a PR nightmare.

Sucks for all the other employees that have to pay the price for the poor choices of the lead actor, but it is what it is.

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#19 Posted by Ungodly (397 posts) -

@theoriginalatlas: I assume some of that is aimed at me, if not I apologize. I didn’t defend the cancellation, with my comment about how she’s hard to be around. I didn’t defend the cancellation at all really. I’m pretty sure they canceled the show, because legally they can’t do it without her.

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#20 Posted by xanadu (1758 posts) -

So you want them to kill off a character and continue a show named after this said character?

People in this business definitely are use to jobs getting canceled at a change of a hat.

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#21 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3634 posts) -
@tesla said:

Username definitely checks out on that Kramer guy with the awful take.

Made me wonder if it was a troll account.

Also yeah - it's hard to continue a show named after a character if you've to kill off that character. What would it even be about then? A comedy show about the rest of the family dealing with the loss of their mother?

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#23 Posted by CupOfDoom (78 posts) -

@deathstriker: I was referring more to long running shows like The Office, Two and a Half Men, That 70's Shows which all were cancelled shortly after a change of leads.

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#24 Posted by BisonHero (11347 posts) -

A show can survive actors leaving it if they're not THE lead role (Cheers sort of survived a change in female lead, MASH survived a change in supporting male character and male CO character and male asshole/snob character, etc.), but it's really hard to rewrite a show without the main character. It only works if the show has an ensemble cast and no singular main character. For example, I actually think Lost could've survived if any of its regular characters left, because that series was already a revolving door of characters with a bunch of half-resolved character arcs.

Roseanne is ostensibly about the whole family, but the Roseanne character is the nucleus of the whole thing. Similarly, House of Cards is so fixated on Spacey's character that I can't imagine what that final season will look like when they have to shift the focus entirely onto the wife suddenly taking the reins of everything.

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#25 Edited by BobDobbsJR (47 posts) -

Also yeah - it's hard to continue a show named after a character if you've to kill off that character. What would it even be about then? A comedy show about the rest of the family dealing with the loss of their mother?

It has been done before (kinda) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hogan_Family

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#26 Edited by redwing42 (439 posts) -

@jesus_phish said:
@tesla said:

Username definitely checks out on that Kramer guy with the awful take.

Made me wonder if it was a troll account.

Also yeah - it's hard to continue a show named after a character if you've to kill off that character. What would it even be about then? A comedy show about the rest of the family dealing with the loss of their mother?

Showing my age here, but this actually did happen once, though under different circumstances. The show Valerie (staring Valerie Harper) transitioned to Valerie's Family then to The Hogan Family after Valerie Harper left the show after two seasons due to disputes with the producers.

Oh, and terrible take by Kramer. Hopefully a troll, and not someone who actually thinks that way.

ETA: Got beat to the punch. Need to fact check faster.

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#27 Edited by SethMode (1271 posts) -

I think that the Valerie thing is a bit apples to oranges, particularly considering it was only 2 seasons in when she left. Roseanne is a show that came back and literally called itself season 10 and picked up, for the most part (terrible weird alternate reality ending notwithstanding) right where it left off. Many people (fans) came back to the show because of Roseanne. Hard to imagine a scenario where she leaves and those people stay, 10ish seasons in. Just my $0.02.

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#28 Posted by TravisRex (819 posts) -

@boozak: her name is roseanne bar..or barr

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#29 Posted by BisonHero (11347 posts) -

Oh fuck, I just realized Roseanne (the show) is like reverse All in the Family. Both are shows about a parent whose views sometimes clash with other members of the family or with society, but in one show the actor is an alright dude who plays a bigot, while in the other show the actress is a bigot who plays an alright lady.

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#30 Edited by ghoti221 (173 posts) -

EDITED TO ADD (June 1): I was originally responding to the banned post which stated "recognizing racism IS racist." Because of the way the moderation happened (not blaming anybody, God knows, I've sat in moderator shoes and it's the most thankless job in the world because nobody is every happy) my post ended up out of context and me look like I was defending the tweet. Trust me, I am NOT defending Roseanne or racial stereotypes, and I personally believe the tweet itself was racist. I was pointing out to the banned poster that, even if they personally believed that tweet was NOT racist, the tweet was crass, insulting, and derogatory, and not worthy of any defense whatsoever. Roseanne (or any other public figure) needs to be held to a higher standard because there are enough people out there who are trying to lower the standard, either naively, ignorantly, or maliciously.

ORIGINAL POST: If the show is named "Roseanne", and it doesn't have Roseanne Barr in it, it's not going to work. I don't know what Disney/ABC's motives were for pulling the show - whether they honestly are taking a stand, or are pre-empting boycotts etc. - but business still plays here. Given the amount of money it takes to bring a show to TV these days, they're not going to spend that money (or perhaps, more invaluably, give up that time slot) to a show that probably won't work -- especially since the show's name reminds everybody of the giant hole that's been left. By doing it this way, it's a clean break, and they have several months to fill the timeslot.

[Quoted post removed by mod staff]

I think even one Brad Shoemaker said on the Bombcast: "recognizing racial stereotypes does not make yourself racist." I don't know if Roseanne is troubled, ignorant or maliciously evil, and, at this remove, even given everything I said above, cancelling a number 1 rated show as a response seems like using the nuclear option. It makes me wonder if internal politics were at play, and this tweet was the straw that broke the camel's back.

However I will stand up and say. Even if you take that tweet in isolation -- if that tweet was not outright racist, it was crass, insulting and, at best, showed a remarkable lack of understanding of her country and of the people who live in it. Especially in a country that practiced slavery until the 1860s and legally sanctioned segregation into the 1960s. If you're going to say stuff in public, and you have a platform that big, you have to be held to a higher standard.

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#31 Edited by MrPlatitude (205 posts) -

In addition to starring in the title role, she co-created the show. There have been lots of shows which have written out or recast characters for a variety of reasons, this is just a weird case where the person in question is too tied in to the show to make it work.

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#32 Posted by BisonHero (11347 posts) -

@mrplatitude: Yeah, it would be like writing Alan Alda out of MASH, or Jerry Seinfeld out of Seinfeld.

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#33 Posted by Shiftygism (465 posts) -

ABC should reach out to NBC and put together the biggest sitcom crossover of all-time finding a way to have a widowed Claire Huxtable start dating Dan Conner after Roseanne dies during the knee surgery they set up in the finale.

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#34 Posted by TheHT (15491 posts) -

Agreed. Perusing her Twitter feed, Roseanne seems godawful and woefully undeserving of any charitable interpretations. The only bummer is that everyone else working on the show got the axe as well. Say she died in the show, grieve for the loss of the character, then carry on with the production for as long as they can. Even if it doesn't pan out at least the folks working on it can get their shit in order instead of being dropped like a can of bricks. Sack of bricks? Sack of potatoes? Wet noodle? I don't know the idiom, but you know what I mean.

Chappelle's joke on House of Cards was embarassingly on point. And yeah, replacing him so we could actually see Frank get royally fucked over after five seasons of being so lovingly inspired to hate him would've been far and away better than an off-screen death, even if it was another actor's face taking the hit. But! Maybe they've got something clever planned to make it satisfying still, who knows. Unlikely, as part of the satisfaction would be seeing Underwood's face while everything falls apart around him, but we'll see how close they can get.

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#35 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7121 posts) -

Its is likely more complex than, "Fire the actor"

Roseanne Barr is the executive producer, and she still gets writing credits for the 90s show and today. I'm not sure about this show but I'm guess Roseanne Barr owns the production company working with the network to produce the show too. So she literally might not be able to be fired except by herself, that left teh only action teh networks had- cancel the show. Moreover, if they were to replace her legally or they reach a deal with the production company (i.e.Roseanne) , does the fact Roseanne Barr will profit from the show feel right?

Hell, I wonder if John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Alicia Goranson or Michael Fishman felt like staying around to have their careers stained. So, yeah, just 'fire that actor' seems like an overly simplistic solution of a real world problem.

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#36 Posted by GenericBrotagonist (324 posts) -

With a show literally called Roseanne I don't see any reason to bother continuing without Roseanne there. Frankly, with any revival based on nostalgia there really isn't a point if the whole cast isn't there. For example, I'd rather there be no Arrested Development Season 6 than one with no Jeffery Tambor or David Cross after the allegations against them. Maybe they don't deserve the spotlight anymore, but for something that banks completely on love for the original seasons continuing without them seems less a labor of love and more a blatant money grab.

Twin Peaks was able to skirt across this line by being completely different than the original, alienating viewers who were only in it for the nostalgia in every way possible and creating an entirely new work of art in the process. Now if they wanted to do something like that, then I'd be all for it.

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#37 Posted by FlashFlood_29 (4095 posts) -
@ghoti221 said:

I think even one Brad Shoemaker said on the Bombcast: "recognizing racial stereotypes does not make yourself racist."

There's a difference between recognizing racial stereotypes and saying an African-American looks like an ape. That's beyond "recognizing racial stereotypes." Also, that quote is out of context.

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#38 Posted by BicycleHam (1380 posts) -

Who the hell was actually watching Roseanne?

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#39 Posted by Efesell (3614 posts) -

@xolare said:

Who the hell was actually watching Roseanne?

Well I mean it was extremely highly rated so kind of a lot.

But also fuck Roseanne.

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#41 Posted by BisonHero (11347 posts) -

@xolare: You can google some articles talking about this, but most of the big ratings hits on TV (The Big Bang Theory, Roseanne, etc.) are getting all those ratings from people in the 50-65 demographic, because those are the people still subscribing to cable/satellite TV and regularly watching it.

Younger generations spend much more of their time not subscribing to cable/satellite, and instead watching YouTube, and streaming services like Netflix/Hulu.

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#42 Posted by ThatOneDudeNick (1545 posts) -

It's her show. She's a creator, director, and executive producer. It gets real messy to fire someone with that much control over a show and keep it around. I wouldn't be surprised if it's written down somewhere that they can't have the name without her. Say they could just fire her, what do they do? Kill off the title character and keep it going? What happens to the ratings after that? Do they risk paying for another season knowing that the ratings are going to drop because people won't want to watch her?

It sucks for those that lost their job because she doesn't know that it's not okay to call black people apes. A friend of mine worked on set and found out she was losing her job at the same time we did. She knows that ABC/Disney has their hands tied. The show was doing well for them. If there were any possible way for them to continue by firing Roseanne only, they absolutely would. Maybe if the show had any other title, they could get another 1/3 of a season out there before the ratings dropped to the point of cancellation anyway.

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#44 Posted by Karrius (19 posts) -

Yinz who are reading ghoti's post and seeing it as racist need to reread. They're saying that the obviously racist dude is the one making the claim that "Recognizing racial stereotypes makes you racist", and ghoti is pointing out how that's ridiculous and dumb. They're not saying the quote validates it, they're saying the quote invalidates it.

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#45 Edited by Rahf (428 posts) -

The minute she said those things, the show was irreversibly tainted. ABC made a decision to avoid losing face, and came off as the good guys while doing it.

Bad choices by Roseanne, smart choice by ABC. They couldn't have known that she would be such a loose cannon.

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#46 Edited by Slag (8000 posts) -

I dunno cancellation seems more than fair to me.

Roseanne's hateful shtick shouldn't be news to anybody, especially a cast that has already worked with her for years. Her offensiveness obviously didn't bother them when they signed on a second time, I'm not going to feel sorry for them. Maybe Roseanne is unwell and can't control this somehow, whatever the cause of her behavior, this isn't anything new from her.

If anything I'm much more disappointed in Sara Gilbert, John Goodman etc for willingly signing onto something that brought Roseanne back into the spotlight. None of those people should need a paycheck at this point. So it's either greed or indifference to the risk of hurting people on their part. Neither is a good look.

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#49 Posted by Darth_Navster (882 posts) -

@frostyryan: I flagged it hours ago and it’s still up. Just goes to show how, as a person of color, I do not feel safe posting in these forums much anymore. The lax moderation of hateful and racist speech is ridiculous.

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#50 Posted by Splodge (2602 posts) -

@darth_navster: it was up for a few hours alright I flagged it the second it was posted. Weird such an obviously racist comment was left up for so long.