First of all, this is in no way a free-speech or First Amendment issue. The First Amendment protects us from facing consequences from the government over our speech, not consequences from our peers or our employers. Yes, what Barr said, although abhorrent, absolutely was constitutionally protected speech, and, of course, it should be. After all, giving the government the power to decide what is and is not “acceptable” speech would be giving the government the power to silence whatever kind of speech it felt like silencing, which would be very dangerous indeed. Anyway, the point is, a free-speech-rights violation would be someone trying to, say, arrest Barr for her comments, not firing her for them. Her rights were in no way violated in this case. ABC simply exercised its own rights as a private company to decide whom it does and does not want to associate with, and it’s my view that no one should blame its executives for making the decision that they made. As for the “political correctness” argument, this wasn’t some kind of innocent joke that has been misinterpreted and blown out of proportion. It was a clear-cut, textbook example of racism, and 65-year-old Barr is absolutely adult enough to have known this when she tweeted it.
Although she happens to support Donald Trump, conservatives absolutely should not feel compelled to defend Roseanne — and I say this as someone who really enjoyed the show. Her tweet was racist, and she’s also made plenty of crazy statements in the past.