ABC boss defends Roseanne over Black-ish and FOTB joke

Louise McCreesh

From Digital Spy

ABC boss Channing Dungey has defended the network's decision to air THAT controversial Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat joke on Roseanne.

The series, which was revived earlier this year and has recently been renewed for a second season on ABC, was criticised by viewers over the joke, which was made on the show in April.

The joke saw Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) and her husband Dan (John Goodman) fall asleep while watching television, or "from Wheel to Kimmel" as they put it, joking that they slept through from Wheel of Fortune to Jimmy Kimmel Live!

"We missed all the shows about black and Asian families," Dan noted in the episode, seemingly referencing fellow ABC sitcoms Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat.

"They're just like us," Roseanne replied. "There, now you're all caught up."

Photo credit: Kelsey McNeal / Contributor - Getty Images

Related: Roseanne mocked Black-ish & Fresh Off the Boat and people aren't impressed

The joke drew criticism from viewers who felt it was "reductive" and "belittled" shows such as Black-ish, which centres around an African-American family, and Fresh Off the Boat, which centres around an Asian-American family.

One of those who took offence to the joke was actor and Bob's Burgers writer Kelvin Yu, who tweeted: "Consider what exactly the audience is laughing at."

However, ABC entertainment chief Channing Dungey has defended the joke, arguing that the joke was simply 'tipping its hat' to the other series.

"We thought that the writers were simply tipping their hat to those shows," she said (via The Hollywood Reporter).

"That said, I do stand by the Roseanne writers in terms of the decision to include that line. They felt that they were expressing the point of view of the Conners in what they would actually have said."

Going forward, Dungey added that the series would continue to emphasise family over politics.

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