Roseanne Barr has been reduced to tears in her first emotional interview since she posted those controversial and racist tweets about a former Obama administration official resulting in a heap of online backlash and her rebooted television show being cancelled by ABC.
The actress spoke out for the first time on her friend Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s first podcast episode on Saturday night, apologising for her tweets which saw her compare black, Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett to an “ape”.
In the podcast, she echoed her original statement which was that she was sorry for her words but that she is not a racist just an “idiot” who had been “Ambien tweeting” and making “a bad joke”.
“Of course I am not a racist, I’m an idiot, and I might have done something that comes across as a bigoted and ignorant and I know that that’s how it came across. I ask for forgiveness because I do love all people, I really do,” the 65-year-old said in the interview.
“I have black children in my family,” continued Barr through tears. “I never would have wittingly called any black person and say they are a monkey. I just wouldn’t do that, and I didn’t do that and that people think that I did that, it just kills me.”
Roseanne Barr was the star character in the recently rebooted show named ‘Roseanne’ before her racist tweets were posted. Walt Disney Co’s ABC network made the decision to cancel the popular US comedy after seeing Roseanne’s twitter statement, calling it “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent without values”.
During the podcast, Roseanne said that she felt remorse for her inexcusable behaviour and said that she had lost everything because of her actions.
“I was impaired. I don’t excuse it,” she said. “I horribly regret it, are you kidding? I’ve lost everything, and I regretted it before I lost everything, and I said to God, I am willing to accept whatever consequences this brings because I know I’d done. I’m willing to accept what the consequences are. And I do and I have.”
Barr’s controversial tweets were deleted soon after they’d been made public and received a great deal of backlash from fans. However, Barr said in the interview that she didn’t actually realise at the time that she had said something racist about Jarrett.
“I don’t agree with her politics and I thought she was white,” explained Barr. “I did not know she was a black woman. When ABC called me and said, ‘What is the reason for your egregious racism?’ I said, ‘Oh my God, it is a form of racism. I guess that I didn’t know she was black and I’ll cop it.
“I know I should’ve known better because I know it’s a form of racism to assume that every person who looks white is indeed white,” continued Barr. “People make that mistake about me all the time. They think I’m not Jewish.”
At the time of Roseanne’s firing, Jarrett said that Bob Iger, CEO of ABC’s parent company Disney had called her personally to apologise, assuring her that there would be consequences. Jarrett said that she hoped this would turn “into a teaching moment.”
Barr said in the interview that she had tried to reach out to Jarrett to apologise to her personally but was yet to get in contact with her. She also explained that many people have not yet accepted her public apology or explanation for her tweets making her a “hate magnet”.
“Sometimes you just say the wrong words,” she said. “And I should’ve known better. I should’ve not done it. I wish the hell I wouldn’t have done it and I should have been better and I wasn’t and I caused a lot of pain and I know that and that’s the worst feeling in the world – I caused pain for my family, I caused pain for my mother, I caused pain for the 200…actors that I love, and crew and writers. I feel so bad that they gave me another chance and I blew it.”
Barr also said that before ABC signed her on for the ‘Roseanne’ reboot that she had to stop tweeting openly about politics or she would “shoot herself in the foot”. Barr said that she agreed to do so apart from tweets defending Jews and Israel and she said that she felt Obama administration’s policies had been “anti-jew”.
Meantime it’s been reported that the ‘Roseanne’ cast will live on in a show without Roseanne herself after ABC announced a spinoff called ‘The Connors’.
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