This is getting ugly. According to a new report from The Hollywood Reporter, even though Roseanne was canceled following Roseanne Barr‘s racist tweet, ABC still owes the show’s stars “tens of millions” of dollars because they already had contracts for Season 11.
Sara Gilbert, John Goodman, and Laurie Metcalf are allegedly “expecting to still be compensated” after they previously agreed to earn $300,000 per episode of the reboot’s second season. “Their options were exercised,” a source told the news outlet. “They’ll lawyer up if they have to.”
Roseanne was cut from the network on Tuesday, May 29, after the show’s star wrote a racist comment about one of Barack Obama’s former top aides that read, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”
The 65-year-old then said she’d be leaving Twitter, but then came back to the social media platform to blame the sleep drug ambien for her hurtful words. “Don’t feel sorry for me, guys!!-I just want to apologize to the hundreds of people,and wonderful writers (all liberal) and talented actors who lost their jobs on my show due to my stupid tweet,” she wrote. “Guys I did something unforgiveable so do not defend me. It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended-it was egregious Indefensible [sic]. I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but…don’t defend it please.”
While ABC has yet to comment on the reports they have to shell out a load of cash to the cast, Disney/ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood sent an email to the entire ABC staff further explaining the reasoning behind their decision to cancel Roseanne. “Much has been said and written about yesterday’s decision to cancel the Roseanne show,” he wrote. “In the end, it came down to doing what’s right and upholding our values of inclusion, tolerance, and civility.”
“Not enough, however, has been said about the many men and woman who poured their hearts and lives into the show and were just getting started on the next season,” Sherwood added. “We’re so sorry they were swept up in all of this and we give thanks for their remarkable talents, wish them well and hope to find another way to work together down the road.”
Many of the cast members have spoken out about losing their jobs on Roseanne, specifically John and Sara. John said, “I would rather say nothing than to cause more trouble,” before adding that he “wasn’t going to get an Emmy anyway.”
Sara, on the other hand, was a lot angrier than John. “Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least,” she wrote on Twitter. “This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love— one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member.” It’s also been reported that Sara will “never, ever” work with Roseanne in the future.
We’re curious to see what all this means for ABC. Do you think Roseanne will be picked up by another network?