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In a new interview that has surfaced in the wake of ABC’s decision to spin off Roseanne without its namesake star, Roseanne Barr admitted that the network asked her to get off Twitter “’cause I’m always saying things.”
“I told them, ‘I promise I will get off Twitter,’” Barr said on a podcast hosted by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a man she met while hosting her own talk show two decades ago. The podcast, which was apparently recorded after Roseanne was canceled, went up on Boteach’s Soundcloud account Sunday. “They said, ‘’Cause you’ll shoot yourself in the foot if you’re on there,’ and my kids took it away from me, and the whole thing ’cause [sic] they said, ‘Mom, you have to stop.’ I told ABC, ‘I have to tell you right now before we sign any papers that I will never stop defending Israel and the Jewish people. I cannot, if I were to do that, I would rather be dead, I can’t do that. So if you want to hire me know that. I will never stop.’”
After describing Barr as one of the few Jewish people in Hollywood who speaks “passionately and proudly about your Jewishness [and] the State of Israel,” Boteach asked Barr to explain why she posted the now-infamous tweet about former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett that led to ABC canceling her revived show.
“Every day on Twitter, Jews are called actual apes, and actual pigs. And nobody says a damn thing about it,” Barr said. “I didn’t say black people look like apes, come on. I didn’t do that. I can see how it was misconstrued. That’s why I’m trying to rectify it, because I’m not that person. I never was, and I never will be. I never will be that person. I was trying to say that I had issues with the Obama administration on Israel and Jewish issues.
“I don’t agree with her [Jarrett’s] politics, and I kind of think of her as someone who is trying to subvert, you know, freedom for me. I do think of her that way,” Barr continued.
Barr once again blamed Ambien and being up at 2 a.m. during Memorial Day weekend for the tweet but added, “that’s no excuse.” She also cried during the podcast.
“I have black children in my family. I can’t, I can’t let ’em say these things about that, after 30 years of my putting my family and my health and my livelihood at risk to stand up for people. I’m a lot of things, a loudmouth and all that stuff. But I’m not stupid, for God’s sake,” she said. “I never would have wittingly called any black person, they are a monkey. I just wouldn’t do that. I didn’t do that. And people think that I did that and it just kills me. I didn’t do that. And if they do think that, I’m just so sorry that I was so unclear and stupid. I’m very sorry. But I don’t think that and I would never do that. I have loved ones who are African-American, and I just can’t stand it. I’ve made a huge error, and I told ABC when they called me.”
On June 21, ABC announced that it will go into production on 10 episodes of The Conners, with just about everyone from Roseanne except Barr. She would not benefit financially from the spin-off, which was described this way: “After a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before. This iconic family — Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. — grapples with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging, and in-laws in working-class America. Through it all, the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns — with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails.”
Listen to Barr’s interview with Boteach above, or read the entire transcript here.