I've lost everything: Roseanne Barr

The Roseanne revival, which had debuted to extraordinary ratings when it premiered in March, was axed over the comedienne’s racist tweet.
The Roseanne revival, which had debuted to extraordinary ratings when it premiered in March, was axed over the comedienne’s racist tweet. PHOTO: ABC

The actress breaks down and apologises during a podcast interview

LOS ANGELES • Comedienne Roseanne Barr has admitted that she is a "loud mouth", but she is "not stupid".

"I never would have wittingly called any black person, they are a monkey. I just wouldn't do that.

"And people think that I did that and it just kills me... I'm just so sorry that I was so unclear and stupid," she told her friend Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in a podcast interview.

According to The Guardian, he had urged Barr, 65, whose reboot of the show Roseanne was recently axed by ABC over her racist tweet, to set the record straight.

An edited transcript and recording of the conversation, in which Barr broke down at many moments, was posted on Sunday.

"I didn't mean what they think I meant. And that's what's so painful. But I have to face that it hurt people," she said, referring to her tweet in which she compared former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape.

"When you hurt people even unwillingly, there's no excuse. I don't want to run off and blather on with excuses.

"But I apologise 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."

Barr said she tried to get Ms Jarrett's phone number to apologise to her, but could not find it.

She added that the storm that erupted also rocked her own family since she has "loved ones who are African American".

She is resigned to the fact that there will be people who will not buy her explanation that her taking of sleeping drug Ambien had warped her judgment, leading to the tweet.

"I'm going to accept what the consequences are - and I do, and I have. (But) they don't accept my apology or explanation. And I've made myself a hate magnet. It's horrible."

Barr had earlier tried to cushion the blow, begging ABC not to shut down the series, so that the cast and crew could keep their jobs, reported the Washington Post.

The Roseanne revival had debuted to extraordinary ratings when it premiered in March.

It became the most-watched show of the 2017-2018 TV season in the United States, with an average of 21 million viewers a week.

Last week, ABC announced it will air a 10-episode Conner family sitcom this autumn without Barr in it.

It will star John Goodman as Roseanne's husband Dan, Laurie Metcalf as her sister Jackie and Sara Gilbert as her daughter Darlene.

While the news may bring some cheer to Barr, she is also painfully aware of her outsider status now.

"I've lost everything," she said on the podcast.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2018, with the headline 'I've lost everything: Roseanne Barr'. Print Edition | Subscribe