Roseanne Barr breaks down in first interview since ABC fired her over racist tweet
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Roseanne Barr broke down in tears during her first interview after her racist tweet prompted ABC to cancel the high-profile revival of “Roseanne.”
Barr recorded a podcast interview with her longtime friend, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who on Sunday published an edited transcript and recording of the conversation.
Barr described herself as a hate magnet unworthy of being defended.
“I’ve lost everything,” Barr said on the podcast. “And I regretted it before I lost everything.”
She also lamented that some people didn’t accept her explanation blaming the sleep drug Ambien for a tweet that likened former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to a person created by the Muslim Brotherhood and “Planet of the Apes.” Barr said, “I was impaired, you know.”
She tweeted that she “mistakenly thought [Jarrett] was white.”
ABC swiftly axed “Roseanne” last month after Barr’s initial tweet. ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said it was “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.”
In the interview, Barr claimed she “never would have wittingly called any black person, a monkey.”
“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 apologize 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 that this fall it will 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.
Though “Roseanne” prompted outrage for jokes about characters of color and an episode some critics called Islamophobic, it built up an enormous television audience.
More than 25 million people watched the revival's first episode in March.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.