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Whitney Cummings Getty.jpg

Whitney Cummings Exits as 'Roseanne' Showrunner

By Kayleigh Donaldson | TV | May 18, 2018 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | TV | May 18, 2018 |

Whitney Cummings Getty.jpg

Whitney Cummings is now out as co-showrunner of ABC’s revival of Roseanne. The comic who helped shepherd the show back to TV will not be returning for the next season. Executive producer Bruce Helford will now be the lone showrunner. He told the Hollywood Reporter, ‘I think Whitney is going to be too busy. Whitney is always a member of the family of the show but she’s got so much going on. I don’t know how she had time to work on the show in the first place. I don’t think she’ll be able to join us in the capacity she was joining us in this first season.’

Writers joining the staff for the new season include Transparent writer and celebrated queer author Ali Liebegott; Jenna Friedman who wrote for both Jon Stewart and David Letterman; and Emily Wilson from NBC’s A.P. Bio. Roseanne Barr remains the head writer, but Helford is happy to note the diversity and democratic approach of their writer’s room. I’m sure it works wonders in elevating the voice of a callous bigot to the status of working-class hero. Thanks, guys!

You know what, fuck this. Whitney Cummings is a coward. She wanted the fame and prestige of being attached to one of the most iconic sitcoms in TV, regardless of how genuinely dangerous and violent in her rhetoric its star is. I’m sure Cummings thought she could separate Roseanne Barr from Roseanne Conner, and tell a great story about a white working class family’s day-to-day struggles. I’m sure she was wiping away the dust on her shelf for the Emmy. She doesn’t get a free pass from what Roseanne has done, and how that show has legitimized not only an undeniable bully but the entire mindset that bigots are just ‘saying what everyone else is thinking.’ I wonder at what point it became too much for Whitney? Was it when Barr went after the survivors of a school shooting on Twitter while spreading vile conspiracy theories? Was it when the show took a dunk at its network sitcom neighbours? Maybe it was when Trump started congratulating Barr and hailing the show as some proof of his success as President? How about the massively Islamophobic episode where the message was ‘Wow, not all Muslims are terrorists? Who knew?!’ Gee, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to get away from that. Cummings isn’t innocent in this. She doesn’t get to pretend that what she was doing was somehow separate or unrelated to the elevation of a bigot to renewed cultural icon.

This is the monster Cummings helped unleash. This is the monster she gave a shiny new platform to, while lecturing the rest of us to get on her side. I’ve no sympathy for her. I’m sure the ‘tell-all exclusive interview,’ where she details her regrets, is coming soon.

Kayleigh is a features writer for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter or listen to her podcast, The Hollywood Read.

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