In a wide-ranging interview with Sean Hannity on Thursday night, Roseanne Barr attempted to defend her tweet about Valerie Jarrett (“muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”) that got her fired from ABC two months ago.
“I was so sad that people thought it was racist,” Barr said, in her first televised interview since her sitcom was shut down after ABC deemed the tweet “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.”
Barr repeatedly told Hannity that to her, the tweet was a political statement and had nothing to do with race.
“That is a tweet about asking for accountability from the previous administration about the Iran deal, which Valerie Jarrett is the author of, and that was what was in my head,” Barr said.
Barr also used her previous defense that she didn’t know Jarrett was African-American: “I thought she was Middle Eastern,” she said.
During the conversation, Barr seemed frustrated whenever Hannity brought the topic back around to the tweet, and she reiterated how it cost her “everything.” She also occasionally got emotional, such as when she talked about her African-American godson. Barr said her godson’s father called her after the tweet and said, “I love you no matter what you do.”
“I just have to say this,” Barr said. “If you really think at the height of my power and my fame I would go ‘black people look like – ‘ I mean, it’s just, I wouldn’t – I am not stupid! That’s what they keep selling. Now, after they misquoted the tweet for weeks, now they don’t even include it and they go ‘Roseane’s racist tweet.’ And they just keep shoving it down everybody’s throat.”
The hour-long interview also dealt with Barr’s mental health; she talked about being hospitalized multiple times and previously suffering from multiple personality disorder. She discussed her medications. She talked about growing up around Holocaust survivors. She explained why she liked Donald Trump. (“I am tired of no solutions. . . I think he is a solutions person.”) She said she’s still proud of the “Roseanne” revival’s huge ratings when it debuted in March: “They can’t take that away from me, no matter what happened. “
When Hannity asked about Barr’s future, in which ABC has ordered a spinoff called “The Conners” without her, Barr revealed one interesting twist: She said her contract with the network actually addressed her Twitter feed, which was always controversial and contained many fringe conspiracy theories.
“I walked away from that show, despite the fact that I had a contract which protected me if I got in trouble with tweets,” Barr said.
“It said that in your contract? And they didn’t pay you?” Hannity asked.
Barr paused. “Well, we can’t talk about that,” she said. “But I was allowed under my contract to have 24 hours to correct any mistake.”
She added that she asked ABC executives to go on “The View” or another show to “explain and correct” the Jarrett tweet, but they said no. (ABC didn’t respond to a request to comment about Barr’s claim about her contract.)
Hannity asked what Barr would say to Jarrett if she could talk to her directly.
“If she’s watching,” Barr said, turning directly to the camera, “I’m so sorry that you thought I was racist and that you thought my tweet was racist, because it wasn’t, it was political. And I’m sorry for the misunderstanding that caused my ill-worded tweet. And I’m sorry that you feel harmed and hurt. And I never meant that and for that I apologize. I never meant to hurt anybody, or say anything negative about an entire race of people, which I think 30 years of my work can attest to.”
“Plus I’ll tell her, she’s gotta get a new haircut,” Barr added. “Seriously. She needs a new haircut.”
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Video: Roseanne Barr sat down for her first TV interview since the cancellation of her ABC show. Here are highlights.(Amber Ferguson/The Washington Post)