‘Roseanne’ revival stirs debate among comedians Silverman, Nanjiani, Eichner

It was the blockbuster return seen on 18.2 million screens across the country, and following the hit premiere of “Roseanne,” President Trump called to congratulate its star. Nathan Rousseau Smith has her reaction. Buzz60

Sarah Silverman’s praise for this week’s premiere of Roseanne ignited a spirited debate Thursday about art, artists and politics with her own comedic colleagues, including Kumail Nanjiani and Billy Eichner.

The debate was civilized and enlightened, especially in the take-no-prisoners world of social-media argument.

Roseanne, which attracted a whopping 18.2 million viewers in its return to ABC after a 21-year absence, is becoming a political lightning rod because of star Roseanne Barr’s support for President Trump and controversial tweets and comments.

Silverman, host of Hulu’s I Love You, America, started things off by tweeting she “loved” Roseanne’s premiere. “That familiar feeling of the old but (within) comedy & content so totally of this moment like the angst (with) close families over politics.”

She then appeared to make a larger comment about art and politics: “Hope y’all let go of needing art 2 reflect/express only what u yourself feel. That’s not what art’s 4.”

That prompted a reply from Nanjiani, star of HBO’s Silicon Valley and an Oscar writing nominee for The Big Sick.

“Sarah, you know I love you & respect you. I believe who can bring themselves to watch what art is a subjective thing. I can’t bring myself to watch a person who mocks teens whose friends were murdered, who traffics in conspiracy theories that damage our world & reality,” he responded, referring to a since-deleted Barr tweet saying “NAZI SALUTE” that was apparently in response to a (disproved) conspiracy theory that suggested a Parkland, Fla., student had given that salute at the March for Our Lives rally Saturday.

He continued, explaining that Barr’s off-screen behavior prevents him from watching her TV show: “I know that’s not her character on the show. But I can’t watch her playing any character. She says David Hogg did the Nazi salute. That’s not political disagreement. It’s wrong.”

In another tweet, Nanjiani accepted that Silverman could watch and love Roseanne. “I really really do. But I can’t do it, and it’s not a matter of me needing to only watch stuff that reflects my point of view.”

Comedian Billy Eichner, star of Billy on the Street and Difficult People, joined in the debate, tweeting in response that he won’t watch.

“She’s dangerous and demented and the success of the show will only help embolden her, increase and normalize her platform,” he tweeted. “I loved the show as a kid but plenty of other shows to watch now.”

Silverman later responded to Nanjiani: “I’m judging? Look – I muted her years ago. But I think the show could b good is all. It’s made by lots of people & shows the grandparents (resisting)/then learning/then accepting stuff (that’s) unfamiliar and therefore scary 2 them.”

 

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Author: csalute

Christopher Salute is a Professor and Asst. Dean at Long Island University. His top three specialties include organizational change, market research, and digital marketing. Salute spent his career in banking, advertising, and e-commerce, working with firms like Yahoo! Inc., eBay, and Amazon.com. He has an earned Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with Minors in Business, Writing, and Communications from Siena College. His MBA in Management was earned at Molloy College. Salute completed his Ph.D. in Applied Organizational Psychology at Hofstra University. Read more at www.linkedin.com/pub/christopher-salute/7/ab9/261/.

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