(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump weighed in on the Roseanne Barr controversy by knocking Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger, saying the company’s ABC network has never apologized for “horrible statements” about the president.
After Iger called former Obama administration adviser Valerie Jarrett to say he was sorry for a racist slur made by Barr -- the star of ABC’s now-canceled show “Roseanne” -- Trump asked why he never received an apology.
“Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that ‘ABC does not tolerate comments like those’ made by Roseanne Barr,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?”
ABC canceled its top-rated show Tuesday after Barr described former Obama administration adviser Jarrett, an African-American, as the offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood and “Planet of the Apes.” The comic actress later apologized, blaming the 2 a.m. tweet on the sleep aid Ambien. She also promised to leave Twitter, but quickly returned. The network had previously asked her to tone down her controversial statements on social media.
At the regular White House press briefing Wednesday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “The president is pointing to the hypocrisy in the media saying the most horrible things about this president and nobody addresses it.”
She cited Disney’s ESPN and anchor Jemele Hill, who called Trump a “white supremacist” on Twitter. “The View” co-host Joy Behar, in remarks about Vice President Mike Pence, said people who hear Jesus’ voice are mentally ill. Comedian Kathy Griffin appeared on the same show after posing in a photo with a mask of Trump’s severed head.
Sanders also pointed to ESPN’s new deal with Keith Olbermann, who has called the president a Nazi on Twitter.
“This is a double standard that the president is speaking about,” Sanders said.
Disney, based in Burbank, California, didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Conservative activists regularly complain at Disney annual meetings about perceived liberal bias at the company’s networks. Trump previously sought an apology from ESPN, after Hill’s Twitter comments about him. Trump said the network was losing viewers due to hosts such as her and its coverage of National Football League players kneeling in protest during the national anthem.
Iger stepped down from a Trump advisory panel last year, following the president’s decision to exit the Paris accord on climate change. The CEO, who has renewed his contract with Disney through December 2021, has acknowledged he considered running for president.
“I am horrified at the state of politics in America today,” Iger told Vogue earlier this year. “Dialogue has given way to disdain.”
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