“The Good Doctor” star Richard Schiff expressed his disappointment in ABC’s decision to fire Roseanne Barr after she came under fire for a racist tweet earlier this year.
Schiff, 63, told DailyMailTV on Thursday he didn’t believe a person should lose their job after saying something that crossed the line.
“To me, it just gets to be a dangerous place where somebody speaks out of line, it might be what they actually believe, they might just be what trying to get attention at the moment,” the liberal star said. “And then to be banned – she [Barr] didn’t physically do anything to anybody.
“I understand the sensitivity of race issues and gender issues and all those things. And wouldn’t it be great if we all were all polite and lovely people? But we’re not,” Schiff, whose TV show is on ABC, said. “I just think that we go to [a] dangerous territory when we start depriving the ability of people to make a living because of one thing that they said that was out of line. I find that tough.”
Barr made headlines after she tweeted in May that former President Barack Obama’s aide, Valerie Jarrett, who is African-American and was born in Iran, was as though the “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby.” ABC canceled the popular reboot of “Roseanne” shortly after the tweets.
Schiff suggested the viewers should have chosen whether to watch Barr’s show following her comments.
“The way you regulate that in my opinion, is that if you don’t like what she says and you want to make a point of it, then don’t watch,” he said. “If you don’t like what she says, express it. Don’t watch her, don’t support her, don’t buy tickets to her shows, don’t buy products that advertise if she’s on TV.
“I think it’s a sensitive, difficult path to go down, to start banning people for tweets, it bothers me,” he continued.
Schiff said people overreacted to “every little thing” and said some “good people were “going to be taken out because they said something inappropriate.”
Schiff told The Daily Mail he was “fine” with a comeback by Barr and believed her show dealt with “some very important social issues.”
“If she wants to do a comeback it’s fine by me. She should what she wants to do and Roseanne always did and I am kind of sad about that, to be honest,” he said.
“I don’t quite understand the vitriol that comes at people. I know her statement was outrageous. I am gonna miss
her voice as a comedic actress dealing with some very important social issues on her show,” he continued.
Schiff also commented on Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader, who came under fire after homophobic and racist tweets he sent several years ago that resurfaced.
“He [Hader] was seventeen, he was in high school, in a small town and didn’t think twice about it at the time. Is now an adult, is now matured, is now experienced life and people from different racial cultures and different countries all over the world, and he’s changed,” he said.
“And he’s gotta to pay the price for something he did six, seven years ago, when he was a kid. And I just think, that just bothers me,” he continued.
Schiff put some of the blame on President Trump who he said was attempting to divide the country.
“Well that’s where it comes from, it starts from the top down, it starts from someone inciting hate. He’s [Trump] inciting violence, he’s inciting civil war, in my opinion,” he said.
“And when you start attacking someone for a stupid comment, that feeds into that desire on his part to split us down the middle,” he continued. “So I don’t want to think of Roseanne as an enemy because she said something really stupid and offensive, I just don’t want to, I’m not going to go down that road.”
Schiff’s comments come days after comedian Norm Macdonald faced backlash following statements he made in a number of interviews this week. He defended Barr, a friend of his, and said it was wrong for ABC to cancel her show following her racist tweet.