What was she thinking...? Or was she thinking at all?
First off, let me just go on record by establishing that this post is not intended to defend or defame Roseanne Barr.
In fact, as my long-term followers can attest, I typically don't devote this forum to political, racial or controversial issues. Simply believing that there are other topics more informative, positive and noteworthy. But the more I heard on the news, the more I felt compelled to speak out on this trending topic because of the numerous lessons it imparts.
So, here we are.
My purpose is to increase awareness and encourage intelligent dialogue.
Let's rewind to the genesis...
Unless you've been living under a rock lately, you've heard that the eagerly anticipated Roseanne Reboot has been unplugged. Grounded. Cancelled abruptly due to a controversial comment she reportedly made on Twitter, concerning Obama's adviser, Valerie Jarrett.
Read more about Roseanne's fiasco.
Though humor (like art) can sometimes be subjective, I'm willing to bet that few folks found her comment or comparison of Jarrett to Planet of the Apes as particularly funny. Not to mention, this is a "sequel" we've seen played out too many times before in our nation's history.
Adding insult to injury, is the fact that I was a former fan (like many Blacks). Besides being funny, this sitcom seemed to be very inclusive in its casting and storyline.
Now, in an "instant rice minute," Roseanne Barr's poor judgment quickly tarnished the sitcom's reputation; deprived ABC's viewing audience (18.2 million), of a well-regarded, entertaining show; and has caused friends and supporters to divorce themselves from her.
One act is seemingly overshadowing her many accomplishments in the entertainment industry.
So what can we learn moving forward? How can we find teachable moments here? (Particularly for those of us in the public's eye).
Here are my "take-aways" today...
1. FREEDOM OF SPEECH AIN'T TOTALLY FREE
In Roseanne's case the tab could ultimately be millions---in terms of lost endorsements, shows, etc.
The lesson? Just because you CAN say anything as an adult living in a free society, doesn't mean you should. Hello? Everything need not be verbalized or shared in a public forum. What you say at home at the dinner table is a different story.
2. THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK
As bloggers and writers most of us have felt the pressure to say something clever on Facebook, or to post something relevant to update our blogs. But sometimes, when you're at a lack for words, it's best to leave it that way. "Silence is golden". Really.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE WRONG HANDS CAN BE DANGEROUS
Use responsibly. And with maturity.
4. REPUTATION MANAGEMENT IS CRUCIAL
The career you save might be your own.
In this Internet age your online image can make or break you.
Mind your manners.
Don't take big stands on small issues. You are an "example" to someone.
It's ironic that something that initially started out as an attempted joke by Roseanne Barr has caused such sadness, disappointment and controversy.
A timely reminder that we should choose our words like we would choose our friends.
Thoughts? Agree or disagree?
Do you think that her punishment fit the crime?
Image credits: Pixabay.com