Cancel Culture types demand apologies, first and foremost.
The toxic subculture doesn’t accept them at face value, of course. Many stars have quickly attempted the Apology TourTM and found themselves punished, or even Cancelled, anyway.
It’s precisely what happened to Roseanne Barr.
he visionary behind the blue-collar sitcom “Roseanne” revived the show for ABC in 2017, drawing a huge crowd in the process. She even reached out to MAGA nation, letting her show be a platform where President Donald Trump’s fans could see themselves for a change.
Few, if any, shows offered similar outreach at the time. It helped explain the reboot’s shocking success … and its swift downfall.
Barr shared a gross, racially-charged Tweet in May of 2018 connected to former President Barack Obama official Valerie Jarrett, who is black. Barr immediately apologized for the message, saying she had been taking Ambien at the time and didn’t realize the light-skinned Jarrett was black.
True? False? It didn’t matter.
ABC fired Barr from her own show, costing her millions in the process. The network didn’t stop there. It killed off her character and continued the series without her, rebranding it as The Conners.
Barr hasn’t had a mainstream gig since. She appeared briefly alongside Andrew “Dice” Clay in 2019, but otherwise she’s been off the Hollywood radar.
She may never work in that town again. Compare that to the Jussie Smollett saga.
Smollett, a co-star on the Fox series Empire, staged a racially charged hate crime against himself in 2019. The media assumed Smollett was telling the truth despite a half dozen holes in his story one could drive a pickup truck through.
We all know what happened next. Smollett faced a jury of his peers, was found guilty and a New York Minute in jail (pending his appeal).
And, despite the gargantuan amount of evidence disproving his story, he claims he told the truth from day one.
No apologies. Nothing. Not even in a court of law, where it matters the most.
So how did Cancel Culture treat Smollett? It let him share his directorial debut on a prominent streaming platform.
BET+ has picked up B-Boy Blues, which will debut on the streamer on June 9 in time for Pride Month. As part of the pickup, Mona Scott-Young and her Monami Entertainment has joined the film as a producer and was instrumental in getting the deal done with BET+.
Smollett co-wrote and directed the indie film last year. The LGBTQ drama stars Timothy Richardson, Brandee Evans, Heather B, Marquise Vilson and Thomas Mackie.
When canceled artists like Louis CK and Morgan Wallen found work long after their initial punishments the press howled in protest.
Not this time.
Smollett’s big lie captivated the public for months. It also sent Chicago police on a wild goose chase, expending time and resources better suited to solving actual crimes. How many lives were impacted in the process?
Is there any doubt Smollett’s career will perk up following the film’s debut June 9? Or that he’ll be working again faster than Barr, a feminist pioneer who changed the face of TV but got punished for a Tweet that injured no one?
[Cross-posted from Hollywood in Toto.]