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‘Late Night’ criticizes Roseanne episode about Muslim neighbors: ‘This episode was poison’

Seth Meyers’s “Late Night” took on a recent episode of the rebooted sitcom “Roseanne” this week, saying that the episode depicting Roseanne’s Muslim neighbors was “racist.”

In the segment “Amber’s Minute of Fury,” writer Amber Ruffin broke down the episode, in which Roseanne is suspicious of her Muslim neighbors but is forced to ask them for their Wi-Fi password. Later in the episode, she defends one of the family members in a racist encounter with a grocery store cashier.

“Roseanne is back, and better than ever, and being racist,” Ruffin says. “In this tired-ass episode, she has Muslim neighbors and she thinks they’re terrorists until they give her their Wi-Fi password and then she decides they’re OK and saves them from a different racist person, proving that she is no longer racist.”

The issue-centered episode was reportedly requested by Roseanne Barr, who has faced criticism for her pro-Trump comments and wanted to confront “her own bias” on the show.

Ruffin said that the episode was “poison” because it pushes a mindset that people of color have to prove that they are “one of the good ones” in order to have successful relationships with white people.

{mosads}“What would have happened in this episode if they had been mean to her, as was their right to do?” Ruffin said of Roseanne. “She’d have called the cops and they’d have gone to jail. That’s what the f— what! And that’s what’s wrong with this episode — the minorities had to prove themselves to her. That’s a dangerous mentality and it isn’t limited to Roseanne.”

Ruffin referenced a series of incidents that have made national headlines in recent weeks, including two Native American men who were pulled from a college tour after a white woman said they made her “nervous,” and a white neighbor calling the police on three black Airbnb guests, saying she thought they were burglars because they did not wave to her.

“What world does this neighbor live in?” Ruffin said. “One where there’s only two kinds of people — people who wave, and burglars?”

“White people call the police when we’re not polite,” said Ruffin, who is black. “But politeness is not the rent we pay to live in this country. Slavery was, and we paid that in full … It is asking too much of black people to live under all of this oppression and also make you feel comfortable.”

She suggested that the apparent increase in incidents has been due to the Trump presidency, joking that she “can’t figure out” an explanation while a picture of Trump appeared beside her.

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