Whitney Cummings reveals why she quit the 'Roseanne' reboot

Whitney Cummings knew Roseanne Barr's tweets were bad news for the Roseannereboot — and now she says they were behind her decision to quit the show just over a week prior to it all coming to a head.

Cummings was the co-showrunner of the ABC reboot, but as a hugely successful first season, which ran from March to May 22, 2018, came to an end, she abruptly quit. The reason given was that she was “too busy.” Less than two weeks later, on May 29, ABC canceled the show after Barr posted a racist tweet comparing Obama aid Valerie Jarrett, who is black, to an ape.

In an interview on Daily Beast’s podcast The Last Laugh, Cummings reveals for the first time why she left. It had nothing to do with her busy schedule and everything to do with Barr’s tweets.

“I wanted her to get off Twitter,” Cummings said of the show’s star. “I felt like it was going to come to a head. It was like whack-a-mole.”

Cummings, who said she was unaware of Barr’s long history of offensive tweets prior to signing on as showrunner, called the situation “a nightmare" and said she “was pissed” at Barr for her behavior.

"We all worked really hard on that show and it's just a shame,” Cummings said. “You put your heart and soul into something for 12 months and it's just for nothing."

Cummings said that she had been a Barr fan prior to getting involved in the reboot — and a big fan of the original show.

“I grew up poor and that was the first show that looked like my house,” she said. It was “the first show that didn’t make me feel bad about myself,” compared to Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place and shows of that era.

As Cummings notes, Barr’s tweets were an issue behind the scenes before her firing. It has since come to light that in the the fall of 2017 — before the reboot even premiered — ABC execs were monitoring Barr’s tweets and meeting with her to discuss them. And a report called “Roseanne Barr’s Anti-Trans” record was put together by the network as the show explored an LGBT storyline but had concerns due to Barr tweets. (An example the document cited was that Barr “tweeted story that Obamas killed Joan Rivers for saying Michelle Obama is a tranny.”)

In fact, Barr had posted other racist tweets, conspiracy theories and Islamophobic comments prior to her firing. Barr also questioned whether the Parkland shooting survivors were child actors.

However, Barr tweeting that Jarrett looked like the “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby” was the final straw. Wanda Sykes quit the show and Barr’s co-stars Sara Gilbert, Michael Fishman and Emma Kenney spoke out against her. (Barr, who has apologized for the tweet, has said she’ll never forgive Gilbert.) The network called Barr’s remark “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values” and the show was canceled.

The show, in a new form — The Conners — lives on, of course, without Barr. Her character was killed off after suffering an opioid overdose. It was renewed for a second season and will return in Sept. 24.

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'Roseanne' spinoff 'The Conners'
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'Roseanne' spinoff 'The Conners'
THE CONNERS - 'We Continue to Truck' - As Darlene grapples with a life-changing offer from Ben, an unexpected conversation with David turns her world even more upside down. Relationship problems lead Jackie to the bottom of the bottle at the last place she remembers being truly happy. Becky's hopes of a happily ever after with Emilio are jeopardized when Dan delivers alarming news, on the season finale of 'The Conners,' TUESDAY, JAN. 22 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) LAURIE METCALF
THE CONNERS - 'We Continue to Truck' - As Darlene grapples with a life-changing offer from Ben, an unexpected conversation with David turns her world even more upside down. Relationship problems lead Jackie to the bottom of the bottle at the last place she remembers being truly happy. Becky's hopes of a happily ever after with Emilio are jeopardized when Dan delivers alarming news, on the season finale of 'The Conners,' TUESDAY, JAN. 22 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) LECY GORANSON
THE CONNERS - 'We Continue to Truck' - As Darlene grapples with a life-changing offer from Ben, an unexpected conversation with David turns her world even more upside down. Relationship problems lead Jackie to the bottom of the bottle at the last place she remembers being truly happy. Becky's hopes of a happily ever after with Emilio are jeopardized when Dan delivers alarming news, on the season finale of 'The Conners,' TUESDAY, JAN. 22 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) EMMA KENNEY
THE CONNERS - 'We Continue to Truck' - As Darlene grapples with a life-changing offer from Ben, an unexpected conversation with David turns her world even more upside down. Relationship problems lead Jackie to the bottom of the bottle at the last place she remembers being truly happy. Becky's hopes of a happily ever after with Emilio are jeopardized when Dan delivers alarming news, on the season finale of 'The Conners,' TUESDAY, JAN. 22 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) RENE ROSADO, LECY GORANSON
THE CONNERS - 'We Continue to Truck' - As Darlene grapples with a life-changing offer from Ben, an unexpected conversation with David turns her world even more upside down. Relationship problems lead Jackie to the bottom of the bottle at the last place she remembers being truly happy. Becky's hopes of a happily ever after with Emilio are jeopardized when Dan delivers alarming news, on the season finale of 'The Conners,' TUESDAY, JAN. 22 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) AMES MCNAMARA, EMMA KENNEY, MICHAEL FISHMAN, JAYDEN REY, SARA GILBERT
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Maya Lynne Robinson as Geena Williams-Conner, Jayden Rey as Mary, Michael Fishman as D.J. Conner, John Goodman as Dan Conner, Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris, Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner, Emma Kenney as Harris Conner, Ames McNamara as Mark, and Lecy Goranson as Becky Conner. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin'' - A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) JOHN GOODMAN, SARA GILBERT
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin' - In the premiere episode, 'Keep on Truckin,' a sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before. 'The Conners' premieres TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) SARA GILBERT, LAURIE METCALF
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin' - In the premiere episode, 'Keep on Truckin,' a sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before. 'The Conners' premieres TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) LAURIE METCALF, SARA GILBERT, LECY GORANSON, JOHN GOODMAN
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin'' - A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) JOHN GOODMAN
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin'' - A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) JOHN GOODMAN
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin' - In the premiere episode, 'Keep on Truckin,' a sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before. 'The Conners' premieres TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) LECY GORANSON, SARA GILBERT
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin' - Actress Maya Lynne Robinson joins the cast of 'The Conners' as a series regular. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) MICHAEL FISHMAN, MAYA LYNNE ROBINSON
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin'' - A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) ESTELLE PARSONS, SARA GILBERT, LAURE METCALF
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin' - In the premiere episode, 'Keep on Truckin,' a sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before. 'The Conners' premieres TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) JOHN GOODMAN, AMES MCNAMARA
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin'' - A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) MARQUES RAY, JAMES PICKENS JR., JOHN GOODMAN
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin'' - A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) AMES MCNAMARA
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin'' - A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) LAURIE METCALF, JOHN GOODMAN
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin'' - A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) JOHN GOODMAN, NATALIE WEST, SARA GILBERT
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin'' - A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) LECY GORANSON, ESTELLE PARSONS
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin'' - A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) LECY GORANSON, SARA GILBERT, AMES MCNAMARA, ESTELLE PARSONS
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin'' - A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) AMES MCNAMARA, MAURICIA LARA, ASHTON JAMES PULIS, JOHN GOODMAN
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars John Goodman as Dan Conner. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin'' - A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) NATALIE WEST, MAYA LYNNE ROBINSON
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin'' - A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) JOHN GOODMAN, SARA GILBERT
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Jayden Rey as Mary. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Ames McNamara as Mark. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Maya Lynne Robinson as Geena Williams-Conner. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Michael Fishman as D.J. Conner. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Emma Kenney as Harris Conner. (Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images)
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin'' - A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) AMES MCNAMARA, JOHN GOODMAN
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Lecy Goranson as Becky Conner. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
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