‘I made myself a hate magnet’: Roseanne Barr’s tearful first interview since racist tweet that killed her show
But the comedian maintains that critics ‘thought that I meant something that I, in fact, did not’ when she compared former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, who is black, to Planet of the Apes
In an emotional interview, Roseanne Barr said she definitely feels remorse for the tweet that prompted ABC to cancel the revival of Roseanne, but that her comparison of former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, who is black, to Planet of the Apes was not knowingly racist.
Barr recorded a podcast interview with her long-time friend, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who on Sunday published an edited transcript and recording of the conversation. In the interview, Barr claims she “never would have wittingly called any black person a monkey.”
Barr spoke through tears for much of the interview, her first since the cancellation of Roseanne. She also lamented that some people don’t accept her explanation blaming the sleep drug Ambien for a tweet that likened Jarrett to a person created by the Muslim Brotherhood and “Planet of the Apes.”
“I said to God, ‘I am willing to accept whatever consequences this brings because I know I’ve done wrong. I’m going to accept what the consequences are,’ and I do, and I have,’” Barr said. “But they don’t ever stop. They don’t accept my apology, or explanation. And I’ve made myself a hate magnet. And as a Jew, it’s just horrible. It’s horrible.”
Barr said of her tweet that she “didn’t mean what they think I meant.”
“But I have to face that it hurt people,” Barr said. “When you hurt people even unwillingly there’s no excuse. I don’t want to run off and blather on with excuses. But I apologise to anyone who thought, or felt offended and who thought that I meant something that I, in fact, did not mean. It was my own ignorance, and there’s no excuse for that ignorance.”
ABC on Thursday announced it will this fall air a 10-episode Conner family sitcom without Barr in it. In a statement issued by the show’s producer, Barr said she agreed to the settlement to save the jobs of 200 cast and crew members.
ABC swiftly axed Roseanne last month after Barr’s tweet. ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said it was “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.”
Though Roseanne prompted outrage for jokes about minority characters and an episode some called Islamophobic, it was watched by an enormous television audience. The first episode in March was seen by more than 25 million people.
“I’ve lost everything,” Barr said on the podcast. “And I regretted it before I lost everything.”