Roseanne apologizes for racist tweet: 'Do not defend me... go away'

The hotly debated scandal engulfed the now-fired TV star, who has a long history of controversial and hate-filled comments.

May 30, 2018 13:41
3 minute read.
Roseanne Barr

Roseanne Barr. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Hours after being fired from her hit ABC show, US comedian Roseanne Barr returned to the medium that got her in trouble – Twitter – with an apology of sorts.

“I’m sorry 4 my tweet, AND I will also defend myself as well as talk to my followers. so, go away if u don’t like it,” she wrote. “I will handle my sadness the way I want to. I’m tired of being attacked & belittled more than other comedians who have said worse.”

The Jewish actress and comedian followed up that tweet by saying that what she did was “unforgiveable [sic] so do not defend me. It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended-it was egregious Indefensible. I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but...don’t defend it please.”

But Barr followed up those Tweets with extensive retweeting of her supporters, arguing with her detractors and sharing conspiracy theories on the subjects that got her in trouble in the first place.

The scandal surrounding Barr’s tweeting and the show’s cancellation was easily the most talked about story in the US on Tuesday, and gained serious traction around the world. More than 2.5 million tweets were sent about the scandal, and a slew of celebrities and elected officials weighed in on the cancellation. Every US cable news network dedicated hours of discussion to the decision and the resulting fallout.

Despite pledging to leave Twitter at one point on Tuesday, Barr only lasted a few hours before returning to the medium and once again engaging in questionable behavior.

Though she has a long history of making inflammatory comments, the revival of Barr’s 1980s show proved extremely successful, and ABC executives appeared to look the other way for a while. The breaking point came on Tuesday, when Barr tweeted that Valerie Jarrett, a black former Obama aide, was the result if the “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby.”

THE RACIST Jarrett tweet came as part of a long tweetstorm that included Barr sharing the false claim that Chelsea Clinton is married to a nephew of George Soros and that Soros is a Nazi who turned in his fellow Jews – a long debunked antisemitic trope. And despite her somewhat contrite words, by Wednesday Barr was back to attacking those who disagree with her and retweeting false conspiracy theories about Jarrett, Soros and others.

In an op-ed Tuesday night in the New York Daily News, Soros’s son Alexander called the lie “odious,” and wrote that his father, who was 13 when he was taken in by a Hungarian official, “did not collaborate with the Nazis... Roseanne Barr’s claims are not just an insult to my father, but [to] all those who endured the Holocaust.”

Barr – who appeared at The Jerusalem Post Conference in New York last month – has long used Twitter to spout angry, hate-filled comments.

In 2015, she told Haaretz’s Rogel Alpher to “stfu privileged fat skinhead,” using shorthand for “shut the f*** up.” In 2016 she called Hillary Clinton an antisemite and said her top aide Huma Abedin was “a filthy Nazi whore.” In 2015, when the University of California, Davis, voted in favor of BDS, she tweeted that she hopes “all the jews leave UC Davis & then it gets nuked.”

When her show returned earlier this year, several media outlets dug up photos from 2009 when Barr posed for the Heeb magazine while dressed as Hitler and “baking” gingerbread man cookies in the oven. She has used Twitter to push a wide range of debunked conspiracy theories, including that Clinton was running a child trafficking ring from a pizzeria in DC and that DNC staffer Seth Rich was murdered in a cover-up.

This time, the backlash was swift – and wide-ranging. Within hours of the Jarrett tweet, ABC announced that Roseanne was canceled. As the scandal unfolded, Hulu said that it would pull episodes of the show, and reruns were dropped from Paramount, TV Land and CMT – as well as from Network Ten in Australia. In addition, Barr’s talent agency, ICM Partners, dropped her as a client.

The comedienne clearly has a lot of free time coming her way. Will she use it to tweet more – or perhaps fulfill her stated dream of moving to Israel?

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