Tim Allen on Roseanne Firing: Comedy’s ‘Dangerous’ in Today’s PC Culture

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JOSHUA CAPLAN

Actor Tim Allen told Entertainment Weekly in an interview released Thursday that political correctness puts comedians in a perilous position, citing ABC’s recent firing of sitcom star Roseanne Barr.

Allen told the entertainment publication that while he found Barr’s comments confusing, comedic boarders appear to be shrinking amid a backdrop of a politically correct culture running amok.

“Whatever got in her head isn’t the Roseanne I know. It’s a very icy time,” said Allen. “I’ve been a comedian for 38 years and I’ve never seen it, like Lenny Bruce said at the Purple Onion, ‘we’ve gone backwards.’ There are things you can’t say. There are things you shouldn’t say. Who makes up these rules? And as a stand-up comic, it’s a dangerous position to be in because I like pushing buttons. It’s unfortunate.”

ABC terminated Barr from the smash-hit revival of Roseanne after she tweeted a racially charged remark, in which she compared former senior Obama aide Valerie Jarrett to an ape. In a recent video statement published to YouTube, Barr accused her former network of firing her over her support for President Donald Trump.

When asked if ABC was correct to fire Barr over the controversial remark, Allen replied, “They had to do what they had to do and it’s their decision,” adding he was left “heartbroken” after the network canceled his sitcom Last Man Standing. “I’ve worked for ABC for years … I don’t really believe it was a political decision. I think it was a financial decision…. I thought it was done very poorly, that’s my point of view. I was heartbroken,” he said.

In May, Fox announced it will revive the Allen-starring Last Man Standing after ABC canceled the program last spring.

“Excited? Team LMS was in the sixth inning, ahead by four runs, stands were packed, and then for no reason, they call off the game. It leaves you sitting in the dugout, holding a bat and puzzled. Now we get the news from Fox that it’s time to get back out on that diamond — hell yes, I’m excited!” Allen said in a statement.

“Now we get the news from Fox that it’s time to get back out on that diamond — hell yes, I’m excited!” the actor added. “When I heard the offer to create more episodes of Last Man Standing, I did a fist pump so hard I threw my back out. It’s the fans! I could not be more grateful for the fans who wrote petitions and kept up the passion and incredible support for the show. And a fist pump, ouch, for [Fox Television Group CEOs] Dana Walden and Gary Newman at Fox for not only listening to the fans, but for making the bold move to bring Last Man Standing back. I’m sure audiences will be curious to see what we look like after all these years. Oh, has it only been one year? Well, just goes to show you — a lot can happen in a year.”

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