Biggest Scandals of the Year

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Roseanne Barr

It was one of the most stunning turnarounds in television history. The successful reboot of the sitcom “Roseanne” was scuttled in 2018 after one season when its eponymous star, the acerbic Roseanne Barr, tweeted that an African-American woman looked like an ape. Condemnation from the show’s cast, among others, was swift, and within hours of the tweet, the show’s renewal for a second season was nixed by ABC television network. A spinoff of the show titled “The Conners” is on the air, without Roseanne Barr. For her part, Barr blamed her racist tweet on the influence of sleeping pills.

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Priest abuse in Pennsylvania

The sexual abuse scandal involving clerics in the Catholic Church, which has consumed the institution since 2002, added another sad chapter in 2018. A Pennsylvania grand jury probing abuse said bishops and other Catholic leaders covered up sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children by 301 priests over a period of 70 years. News reports called the disclosure the most extensive examination to date by a government agency in the United States of sexual abuse by clergy in the Catholic Church. The grand jury report added that there were likely many more survivors whose records were lost or were too afraid to reveal the abuse.

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USC president resigns

C.L. Max Nikias, the president of the University of Southern California, was forced to step down in May amid a torrent of outrage stemming from a sex scandal involving the university’s former gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall. Students, professors, and administrators demanded Nikias resign because USC had not been moving fast enough to address allegations that the gynecologist had been conducting inappropriate examinations for decades. Tyndall was placed on administrative leave in 2016 and quietly retired.