There is a bright spot in all of the unsettling news of late. Roseanne is gone.
She's gone because of her hateful and racist tweets, not because of her so-called humor.
On the air, she was a millennial-era Archie Bunker — quick in an early May episode of her namesake television show to stereotype her new Muslim neighbors as terrorists and demean them.
Like Archie Bunker's bigoted spoutings in "All in the Family," the show "Roseanne" was meant to spoof the ignorance that leads many Americans to hatred, racism and sexism.
But unlike the late Carroll O'Connor, who played Bunker and made it clear in his real life actions that he was anything but an Archie Bunker-like bigot, the actor Roseanne Barr — who played the classless Roseanne Conner — didn't leave her real-life classless racism and Islamaphobia at the studio.
She, like her idol, Donald Trump, brought it to Twitter @therealroseanne and waved it like a badge.
When she got fired for writing "muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby =vj", she wasn't acting. She was spreading hate. When she tweeted that and other offensiveness, she wasn't trying to help anyone understand that we all are one family. On the contrary, she was looking to further divide the tribes.
The "vj" stands for Valerie Jarrett, the African-American woman who served as Barack Obama's senior adviser. Jarrett was born in Iran to American parents. Her father, a pathologist and geneticist, ran a hospital for children there in 1956 as part of a program in which American physicians and agricultural experts worked to further health and farming efforts in developing countries.
When the tweet incited a fury (even Bill O'Reilly called it "vicious,") Barr tried to pass it off as a "joke" made when she was "Ambien tweeting." (The makers of Ambien, a sleep aid, quickly responded that "racism is not a known side effect" of their medication.)
Racism is not a joke. Islamophobia is not funny. Sexual harassment is not harmless patter. And lest anyone try to defend it as the overreach of political correctness, understand that society evolves. While we might once have thought blackface dancers, drunks and sex jokes at the office were funny, we've grown to know better. The N-word and "coloreds" used to be common usage. Now they are rightly buried in the trash bin along with "ape" jokes.
Or so we thought, until the 2016 election brought us the age of Donald Trump which — intentionally or not — tipped the bin over on its side, spilling retro trash like little flash bangs all over the country.
ABC abruptly canceled "Roseanne," and the Walt Disney Company, ABC's corporate parent, backed the action, despite the fact that pulling a hit show would mean millions in lost ad revenue.
"There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing," said Disney chief executive Robert A. Iger of Barr's firing and the show's cancellation.
Not only did ABC cancel the show's next season, a repeat episode from this season that was scheduled for Tuesday night was replaced with a rerun of "The Middle." The network also has taken each "Roseanne" episode off its website. Hulu, partly owned by Disney, is removing episodes as well.
And yes, the problem of not-funny humor is bipartisan. When comedian Kathy Griffin commissioned a photo of herself holding a detached and bloodied likeness of Donald Trump's head, she thought it was a great joke. It wasn't, and she was rightly fired from practically every entertainment job she had. Violence and beheadings are not funny.
Comedy, satire and jokes are supposed to help us laugh at, endure and perhaps learn from our pain.
But there is a line, and Roseanne Barr crossed it — as have many before her have.
It's one thing to play a bigot. And entirely another thing to be one.