Don Lemon: Why did ABC give Roseanne a chance despite past controversies?

CNN’s Don LemonDon Carlton LemonCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump Yang congratulates Romney for 'voting his conscience and character' in convicting Trump Jill Biden on Lindsey Graham: 'We used to be great friends, and now he's changed' MORE questioned why ABC gave Roseanne Barr, who on Tuesday drew fierce backlash after making racist comments online, the chance to reboot her eponymous sitcom despite a history of controversial comments and actions.

“I give them credit for what they did today, I think that it was a good move, but they should have known before,” Lemon said on “The Situation Room” on Tuesday.

“What are they saying? As long as you keep your racism just hidden below the surface, it’s OK?” he asked.


“Roseanne” was canceled by ABC shortly after Barr posted tweets referring to former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett as the child of the Islamist organization the Muslim Brotherhood and the movie "Planet of the Apes."

In the past, Barr has also made comments deemed to be racist.

Earlier this year, photos resurfaced of Barr dressed as Adolf Hitler taking a batch of cookies shaped like children out of the oven. The 2009 photos reportedly appeared in a satirical Jewish magazine.

She has also faced criticism recently for tweeting conspiracy theories.

“It’s out there, what she’s done, what she said, what she believes. It’s not the first time she’s done it,” Lemon said. “I think the bigger question is why was she given this opportunity to have this show again in the first place when her reputation precedes her?”

Lemon still commended ABC for canceling the show, which had been a commercial success and provided the network with a huge audience.

“I think it is a good first step but I think we need to address everyday racism. She is a big star ... Roseanne is going to be OK,” Lemon said. “What about ... the everyday average person who has to deal with this on a daily basis, with racism being normalized, especially by people like Roseanne and by the president of the United States who also traffics in racism?”