Roseanne Barr defends 'racist' Valerie Jarrett post in new Twitter rant
TV star Roseanne Barr has taken to Twitter to launch a fresh tirade after she was fired from her sitcom for posting a racist tweet about a former Obama White House senior advisor.
The comedienne's show was cancelled by ABC after she claimed online that Valerie Jarrett was the child of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes films.
Barr apologised to Jarrett and claimed that she was leaving Twitter after her show but Roseanne was pulled by the TV network. However, she has now returned to the social media network to defend herself.
"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 in a now-deleted post. "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."
Suggesting she had taken a sleeping pill named Ambien before making the discriminatory comments, she also wrote: "I think Joe Rogan is right about Ambien. Not giving excuses for what I did(tweeted) but I've done weird stuff while on ambien-cracked eggs on the wall at 2am etc -".
Despite asking her followers to not defend her actions, the American actress - who is an avid supporter of President Donald Trump - soon began retweeting posts of support from her fans, who insisted that she wasn't prejudiced. "@therealroseanne is no more a racist than anyone else in this world. She made a bad comment and apologized. No big deal," read one.
Others reproached ABC for cancelling the sitcom and costing hundreds of people their jobs, pointing out that the Roseanne revival was the number one show for the 2017 to 2018 TV season.
Barr herself also seemingly attempted to deflect attention away from her by retweeting Twitter users who claimed there were more important stories in the news.
Not one to shy away from controversy, Donald Trump also got involved on social media, with the president tweeting: "Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that 'ABC does not tolerate comments like those' made by Roseanne Barr... Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologise for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?"
The victim of Barr's tweet, Valerie Jarrett, has also responded to the uproar, stating on MSNBC that she is "fine" but is worried for those without "friends and followers who come right to their defence" who experience "ordinary examples of racism that happen every single day."
She said: "I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment. I'm fine. I'm worried about all the people out there who don't have a circle of friends and followers who come right to their defence. The person who is walking down the street minding their own business and they see somebody cling to their purse, or run across the street, or every black parent I know who has a boy who has to sit down and have a conversation -- the talk -- as we call it. As you say, those ordinary examples of racism that happen every single day."
In addition, the drug company that makes Ambien retorted Barr's suggestion that it may have been partly responsible for her offensive post. In a statement, French drug company Sanofi, said: "While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication."
The actress replied, claiming that she has had strange experiences while taking the sleep medication late at night, but later backtracked and admitted fault, saying: "I blame myself, not Ambien."
Despite Barr's protestations, she is wholly unlikely to recover the TV show that made her a star. ABC swiftly cancelled the renewal after her discriminatory posts, saying in a statement: "Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show." Bob Iger, the chief executive of Disney, which owns ABC, added on Twitter: "There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing."