Just two weeks ago, Roseanne Barr was on top of the world.
The always controversial comedienne took the stage at Lincoln Center on May 15 as the crown jewel of ABC. Her beloved eponymous sitcom, which had been off the air for two decades, had been revived to a degree of success that literally no one thought possible, giving the beleaguered network the No. 1 show in TV for the first time in 24 years. She'd returned to a network that she often publicly sparred with during Roseanne's original nine season run and become something of its savior.
As the network's presentation of its 2018-19 line-up began, Barr was made the focal point of a pre-taped sketch featuring ABC talent auditioning before the American Idol judges, with the bit culminating in a surprisingly proficient performance of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" from the women who once butchered the National Anthem to a stadium full of stunned baseball fans. She then took the stage to thunderous applause from the crowd of Madison Avenue ad buyers, where she introduced Disney-ABC Television Group Ben Sherwood as "the guy responsible for most of my tweets." Even her long history of incendiary, vicious, offensive social media posts was something to be, well, if not outright celebrated, then merely laughed off.
Well, that was then and this is now. And the laughter has stopped.