I’ve been hesitant to write about the recent kerfuffle over Roseanne but with the latest outrage over what Samantha Bee said recently, I thought I’d weigh in on some of what I’ve been seeing online comparing the two situations.
First let me say that I think that what Roseanne tweeted was reprehensible, but in a way, not unlike her as she has a history of racist, anti-Semitic statements. Although I really enjoyed her shows reboot, I believe that ABC had no choice but to cancel. It’s the same for any employer: if an employee does something to embarrass the company and possibly affect the bottom line, it’s reasonable to take the action that ABC did.
Samantha Bee though did something similar. What she said on her show though wasn’t an off-the-cuff rant remark, but it was actually scripted, meaning that the words used were seen and approved, I would think, at a few levels of management before her show was recorded. But she too has a history of using vile language on her show. I’ve watched it a few times and it’s amazing how many bleeps have to be inserted.
Both women apologized. It took Bee a full day however and it doesn’t appear she will suffer any consequences. That’s fine. It’s a corporate decision and I’m not calling for a boycott of her advertisers nor would I ever call for someone to be fired.
What’s bothered be in the last day or so is some of the reaction I’ve seen online. There’s the whiff of the double standard, according to some on the right; the argument being that a far-left comedian can say vile things about another person and receive no punishment while someone with a conservative bent receives the maximum penalty. To many, that’s unfair.
I’ve also been bothered by some of those on the left, I presume, defending Bee with it’s only words. Okay, but then what Roseanne wrote were only words as well. Some words hurt more than others has been another theme. Really? How can anyone know that? We’re into mind reading I guess. I’ve actually sen pundits on television saying that although Bee’s words were vile, they don’t come up to the level of what Roseanne tweeted – in their mind (oh, and the majority of those were white people).
Being vile, reprehensible, abhorrent, (pick your favorite adjective) in any way seems to me to be equal. Again, I’m not calling for anything specific here but there is a solution for those in entertainment or the media in general some may view that way.
Change the channel.