May 29, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen
1 big thing: Twitter's megaphone takes down Roseanne

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Roseanne Barr's reboot at ABC is gone, less than 12 hours after her racist tweet and notwithstanding ratings so strong that she picked up a congratulatory phone call from President Trump.

Why it matters: The show's cancellation came at nearly the exact same time Starbucks across the country shut down for racial bias training after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks.

Be smart: America has a huge amount of work to do on racism, but social media has given people who've been wronged a huge megaphone to demand change.

Freeze frame... Look at how fast Roseanne's tweet got her the axe, with the whole process taking less than 12 hours from bad tweet to cancellation:

  • 2:45 am EST... Barr sends the tweet: "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj," a reference to Valerie Jarrett.
  • 10:33 am... Barr apologizes: "I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me -- my joke was in bad taste."
  • 12:04 pm... Producer Wanda Sykes quits
  • 1:21 pm... Co-star Sara Gilbert condemns
  • 1:47 pm... ABC cancels the show, calling her tweet "abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values."
  • 2:10 pm... Disney CEO Bob Iger tweets that her cancellation was "the right thing to do."
  • Just before 3 pm... Barr's agent said in a statement it has dropped her as a client.

The big picture: The immediate action taken by ABC and Disney is a good example of how the #MeToo movement and social media have pushed American companies to be more stringent on not just sexual behavior, but bad behavior overall, Axios' Sara Fischer emails.

  • In recent months, we’ve seen companies, and especially media companies, take action against talent, staff and leadership for behavior that we now know executives knew about for a long time, or had settled in the past, or behavior that would have not been reprimanded in years past. 
2. What you missed

Mike Pompeo speaks on the release of the 2017 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

  1. Maria killed more than Katrina or 9/11: A new study estimates 4,645, rather than the official estimate of just 64, died from Hurricane Maria's Puerto Rico landfall. Go deeper.
  2. The Dow Jones Industrial Average today closed down 392 points, or 1.58%, after having at one point been down more than 500 points. Italian political turmoil didn't help. Go deeper.
  3. No Trump-Kim schedule changes just yet: The White House believes that next month's summit between President Trump and North Korean Kim Jong-un in Singapore is still happening. Go deeper.
  4. White House previews China tariffs: It announced this morning a plan to levy a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese tech goods — with the exact list to be announced next month — as well as tech investment limits for Chinese nationals and entities. Go deeper.
  5. Good context here: Images of young kids behind chainlink fences and a report that the government lost track of almost 1,500 minors have sparked outrage over the U.S.'s treatment of child immigrants, but some criticism has missed the mark. Go deeper.
3. 1 toasty thing

The U.S. Geological Survey had to remind people today that no one should try to roast marshmallows over Hawaii's Kilauea volcano's vents:

  • A Twitter user, @jayfurr, asked @USGSVolcanoes: "Is it safe to roast marshmallows over volcanic vents? Assuming you had a long enough stick, that is? Or would the resulting marshmallows be poisonous?"
  • USGS responded: "Erm...we're going to have to say no, that's not safe. (Please don't try!) If the vent is emitting a lot of SO2 or H2S, they would taste BAD. And if you add sulfuric acid (in vog, for example) to sugar, you get a pretty spectacular reaction."
  • By the numbers: Hawaii's Kilauea volcano eruption
Mike Allen