Channing Dungey: The Trailblazing ABC President Behind The Cancellation Of ‘Roseanne’


December 1, 2018

Photo by: CreditImage Group LA/Getty Images

In February of 2016, Channing Dungey was named the first African American president of ABC Entertainment, which also made her the first African American to head a major television network.

On Tuesday, Dungey made annoucement to cancel ABC’s top rated show, “Roseanne,” after its lead character Roseanne Barr sent out a racist tweet comparing former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape.


Dungey released a statement within hours of Barr’s since deleted tweet, saying: “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”

Before becoming president of ABC, Dungey was its Executive Vice President of Drama Development, where she helped significantly with making sure the network had hit diverse shows, such as “Scandal”, “How to Get Away with Murder”, and “Quantico.”


After replacing Paul Lee as ABC’s president in 2016, Dungey told the Los Angeles Times ,”In terms of looking at this as maybe being a role model, I’ve always been very focused on being a role model for my daughter. And if I can inspire young women to pursue a career path in entertainment because of this, that would be a wonderful thing.”

In taking a stand against Barr’s racially charged rhetoric, Dungey reminded us all why representation matters and why it’s important to have a seat at the table.

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