Who cancelled Roseanne? Meet Channing Dungey, the cut-throat head of ABC Entertainment

ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey is a force to be reckoned with.

For those clueless about why she’s being glorified, she is the first African-American boss of a major broadcast network who was single-handedly responsible for the network’s decision to pull the plug on Roseanne after Roseanne Barr’s distasteful, racist tweet.

The Roseanne reboot has been quite controversial for a while — specifically since the show started to cater to its lead actor Roseanne Barr’s personal political beliefs. Barr has been vocal about her support for Trump all over social media, which is why her attacking a former Obama adviser doesn’t seem that absurd.

Roseanne later claimed that she was in an Ambien-induced state when she posted the tweet
Roseanne later claimed that she was in an Ambien-induced state when she posted the tweet

But Barr took things too far when she compared Valerie Jarrett – who is African American – to an ape on Twitter. Initially, Roseanne pushed back against criticism, but she finally acknowledged her mistake and apologized, admitting that her “joke” was in “bad taste”.

There were also some excuses about her being in an Ambien-induced state when she posted the tweet. Dungey was hearing none of that, of course.

The network labelled the tweet “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values” and announced that the show is cancelled. Dungey’s decision was backed by Disney CEO Bob Iger, head of ABC’s parent company, who said, “There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.”

This isn’t the first time Dungey has made headlines; back in 2016, she was under the spotlight when she became the first African-American to preside over the entertainment division of a major broadcast television network.

So who exactly is Channing Dungey?

The company bio of the 49-year-old Sacramento native states that she oversees “All development, programming, marketing and scheduling operations for ABC prime time and late-night.”

After having been with ABC in various roles since 2004, Dungey has been credited with developing some of the biggest names in TV dramas for ABC, including Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder and Quantico.


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