It’s been a whirlwind month for Roseanne Barr, and not in a good way. After she tweeted a racist remark about Obama administration official Valerie Jarrett, Barr’s eponymous sitcom has been canceled by ABC and picked back up again — without Barr. Now, in a podcast with longtime friend Rabbi Schmuley Boteach, the comedian opened up for the first time since being fired. She feels deeply remorseful, she said.
Seemingly overcome with emotion throughout the interview, Barr insisted, “I lost everything, and I regretted it before I lost everything.” However, she stands by her assertion that the words she said weren’t racist, just misunderstood and ill-conceived.
“I never would have wittingly called any black person… a monkey,” she said. “I just wouldn’t do that. I didn’t do that.” Barr said that despite being “a loud mouth and all that stuff,” she wasn’t “stupid.”
So, how does she explain her choice of words? Well, there’s the Ambien defense, which Barr doubled down on. She expressed frustration over people's disbelief that the sleep drug could have caused her to tweet out the description of Jarrett as someone created by the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes.
What it all boils down to, Barr claimed, is that the tweet “didn’t mean what they think I meant.”
“But I have to face that it hurt people. 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,” she said, which sort of sounds like an apology.
Regardless, Barr revealed that she’s paying a steep price now: the ire of the internet.
“But they don’t ever stop,” she said of so-called internet trolls. “They don’t accept my apology or explanation. And I’ve made myself a hate magnet. And as a Jew, it’s just horrible. Horrible.”
Ultimately, Barr seems to understand that she’s in a hell of her own making — even admitting that ABC asked her to give up Twitter when the network rebooted Roseanne.
“And I told them, I promise I will get off Twitter,” she revealed, adding, “They said, '‘Cause you’ll shoot yourself in the foot if you’re on there.'”