By this time, Channing Dungey, the president of ABC entertainment group, should be a household name. The woman who was responsible for the cancellation of “Roseanne.”
But Dungey isn’t just an executive who axes shows, she’s also been responsible for the development of some of ABC’s most successful shows, including “Scandal” and “How To Get Away With Murder.” If there’s anything obvious from Dungey’s resume, it’s this: she speaks loudly through her actions.
Dungey cancelled a successful revival of a TV show that played right into Trump’s demographics. While it may be entertaining to think of how white people may feel threatened by the cancellation of a TV show, let’s think of the gravity of what has happened. A white person actually got punished for being racist.
This means that those who work for diverse leaders will have to be careful with what they say and do. That diverse leaders will no longer have to condone or give a pass to those who thought they could get away with it.
As Terry Crews vehemently stated in the #MeToo movement, NO ONE GETS A PASS.
Message Russell Simmons sent to me regarding my sexual assault case against Adam Venit of @WME:
— terry crews (@terrycrews) November 19, 2017
Despite all this, “The Connors” feels like a pass. What felt like a clean break, really wasn’t. Roseanne lost, but did she really? What do “The Connors” look like without its (collapsed) star? Will its fans even embrace the show without its overshadowing matriarch? With the cast (sans Roseanne) and crew signed back on, it seems Dungey sees something worth salvaging.
“The Conners” will purportedly revolve around Darlene and the rest of the family. Only time will tell if fans can accept this new dynamic, which has potential especially in the character of Mary Conner and what it’s like for a young black girl to grow up in a predominantly white family. Another avenue would be to explore working class whites in a Trumped America and how poor white people have more in common with the minorities they blame than the rich white people they vote for.
Even with its potential, one can’t help but feel that Roseanne does not deserve its own spin-off. The silver lining is that we can at least rest assured that the show is in the good hands of a WOC who isn’t afraid to do the right thing.
And I get the feeling that if another boundary is crossed, Dungey won’t be giving out any more passes.
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Written in VA. An MFA graduate in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.