In an emotional interview, Roseanne Barr said she feels remorse for the racist tweet that prompted ABC to cancel the revival of “Roseanne.” Barr recorded a podcast interview with her longtime friend, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who published an edited transcript and recording of the conversation. (June 25)
In her first in her first televised interview since ABC fired her in May, Roseanne Barr continued to insist, sometimes tearfully, that her controversial tweet about former Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett was not racist.
“I am so sorry you thought I was racist and you thought my tweet was racist, because it wasn’t. It was political,” Barr said in a live sit-down with Fox News’ Sean Hannity Thursday, speaking to the camera as if she were talking directly to Jarrett.
She did manage to get a jab in. After apologizing, Barr, 65, added: “Plus, I’d tell her she’s got to get a new haircut.”
During the interview, which focused primarily on Barr’s controversial tweet, the comedian doubled down on the fact that she thought Jarrett, an African-American, was white.
“That is a tweet about asking for accountability from the previous administration about the Iran deal, which Valerie Jarrett is the author of, and that was what was in my head,” Barr said.
She added she was “shocked” to see the subsequent blow back.
Barr, who is Jewish, got emotional at the idea of being perceived as racist by her close circle’s children, which includes African-Americans and Asians.
When asked by Hannity if this is the kind of freedom of speech she wanted to employ, Barr replied: “No, I wish I’d worded it better. But I’m not going to let them tell me what I meant.”
And what of Twitter?
“My kids took it away from me forever,” she said. “Well, you could get another phone,” Hannity retorted. Roseanne smiled. “I did,” she said (Barr has tweeted several times this week.)
Hannity also got personal. During the live interview, the Fox News host brought up both her struggle with depression (she is currently on two anti-depressants, Barr said Thursday) and multiple-personality disorder (she said this has been treated successfully). Hannity also resurfaced her previous claims she was sexually abused by her father.
Barr said Thursday she no longer thinks her father sexually abused her, but believes she was emotionally abused by both her parents. “Everybody in my whole family is messed up,” she said.
During the interview, Barr elaborated onthe evolution of her political beliefs, discussing her run for president on the ‘Green’ Tea Party ticket in 2012.
These days, “I feel like both the left and the right have marginalized the middle, and it’s just too crazy,” she said, adding that she not only likes the middle, but she is the middle.
Barr’s hit “Roseanne” reboot was abruptly cancelled on May 31after the comedian compared Jarrett to a monkey in a controversial tweet she later described as a “bad joke.”
ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey called the tweet “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.”
Barr claimed she thought Jarrett, an African- American, was white and “would never have wittingly called any black person a monkey,” during an unhinged podcast interview with longtime friend Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in June.
She has since apologized for the tweet but continues to protest the decision.
During an interview on her YouTube channel last week, Barr said ABC canned her without giving her opportunity to publicly explain herself.
“My show was cancelled before not even one advertiser was pulled out and I was labeled a racist,” Barr says. “Why you ask? Well, the answer is simple. It is because I voted for Donald Trump and that is not allowed in Hollywood.”
While speaking to Hannity, Barr says her contract with ABC allowed 24 hours to correct any mistake on Twitter.
“Roseanne” returned to ABC in March, two decades after it ended its first run from 1988 to 1997. The original cast, including John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf and Sara Gilbert, returned.
Nielsen data for the full 2017-18 TV season, out in June, showed that “Roseanne” was the No. 1 series, with a final average of 20 million viewers, but its nine-episode first revival season was also its last.
ABC will launch a new spinoff series called “The Conners” Oct. 16. The show will feature characters from “Roseanne” sans Barr.
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