Watching this lengthy discussion with the YouTube host Joe Rogan, it’s hard not to feel some sympathy for the disgraced American comedian and actress, Rosanne Barr. Whatever her past misdeeds, one is left with the strong impression that the pariah status of the sixty-five-year-old celebrity is partly the result of her becoming collateral damage in the ongoing ideological culture wars in the United States. In the eyes of her staunchest critics, her greatest sin was not her ill-judged or offensive tweets and subsequent dissembling but her well-known admiration of Donald Trump, and her role as a Trump-supporting lead character in the revival of a surprisingly well-received sitcom on ABC, a mainstream television network in the US.
To her detractors this made the Utah-born writer-producer guilty of “normalising” American populist-nationalism, however tangentially, and consequently she had to go. And gone she was, and by her own hand. I’m not sure what it says about the United States and many other countries around the world that people cannot apologise or make amends for their public mistakes or missteps. Apparently such individuals must live in perpetual disgrace however minor their transgressions. We wouldn’t impose such adolescent punishments in our personal lives, unless socially or emotionally maladjusted, so why do we expect them in the public sphere?