From tweet to twit – Rosanne Barr’s fall from grace shows the power of social comment


Well, we have all been saying it. But, to see the power of social comment shift things fast, look at how quickly US actress Roseanne Barr plummeted from being a star to unemployed in just 12 hours.

The references to her original offence are deeply rooted in American politics and racial history. And at a time when there has been a lot of focus on fake news, Barr’s fall has been welcomed by many as also showing the power of social to call people to account.

The following timeline is courtesy of Axios: tracking Barr’s trajectory from tweet to twit. An illiberal dose of old-fashioned arrogance and offensiveness helped.

Timeline to a sacking (compiled by Axios)

• 2:45 am EST... Barr sends the tweet: "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj," [a reference to Valerie Jarrett, who was one of President Obama's longest serving senior advisor and confidante].

• 10:33 am... Barr apologises: "I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me – my joke was in bad taste."

• 12:04 pm... Producer Wanda Sykes quits.

• 1:21 pm... Co-star Sara Gilbert condemns.

• 1:47 pm... ABC cancels the show, calling her tweet "abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values".

• 2:10 pm... Disney CEO Bob Iger tweets that her cancellation was "the right thing to do".

• Just before 3 pm... Barr's agent said in a statement it has dropped her as a client.