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Who is Channing Dungey? Groundbreaking ABC exec pulls plug on "Roseanne"

ABC cancels "Roseanne"
ABC cancels "Roseanne" after star posts racist tweet 02:34

ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey is in the spotlight after canceling the popular reboot of "Roseanne." The decision came after Roseanne Barr posted a racist tweet about a former adviser to President Obama.

Barr compared Jarrett, who is black, to an ape on Twitter. After initially pushing back against criticism, Barr said her "joke" was in "bad taste" and apologized. But the apology wasn't enough for the network. Dungey called the tweet "abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values" and announced the show's cancellation. Dungey had the backing of Disney CEO Bob Iger, head of ABC's parent company, who said, "There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing."

Many big Hollywood names championed Dungey's decision Tuesday, with some sending positive messages to the cast and crew who are now out of work.

In 2016, Dungey made headlines when she became the first African-American to run the entertainment division of a major broadcast television network. In that role, she oversees "all development, programming, marketing and scheduling operations for ABC prime time and late-night," according to her company bio. She's been with ABC in various roles since 2004 and is credited with developing several of its hit TV dramas, including "Scandal," "How to Get Away With Murder" and "Quantico."

Channing Dungey
Channing Dungey at the 2016 Emmy Awards. Getty

Dungey graduated from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television in 1991. She's also taught a course titled "Developing the Drama Pilot" for graduate students at the school.

She started out as a development assistant for Davis Entertainment for 20th Century Fox. In 1998, she became senior vice president of a film production company called Material. She would later be named president in 2001.

Dungey, a self-proclaimed "TV junkie," spent nearly a decade working in film. In an interview with UCLA Newsroom, she said she began gravitating toward the small screen in the early 2000s. "I love to read, and TV seemed more like a good book, with these incredible series unfolding like chapters in a novel," she said last year.

She is also a founding member and board member of Step Up, a non-profit dedicated to empowering young girls in under-resourced communities to become "confident, college-bound, career-focused, and ready to join the next generation of professional women."

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