In the first interview Roseanne Barr gave after her infamous twitter rant the famous comedian asked for forgiveness and insisted “I’m not a racist. I’m an idiot.”
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is a longtime spiritual adviser for Barr, and during the lengthy podcast interview asked her why she wrote the offensive tweets. What you wrote, he told her, seemed to be in “complete contravention” of your “Jewish values.”
Barr responded by starting to cry, saying:
“I’m a lot of things, a loud mouth and all that stuff. But I’m not stupid for God’s sake. I never would have wittingly called any black person… 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.”
Barr said that she had taken the sleep drug Ambien before posting the tweet where she compared former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape. Her tweet said: “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”
During the interview Roseanne repeated her previous claims that when she wrote the tweet she didn’t know that Jarrett was black.
“When ABC called me and said ‘what is the reason for your egregious racism,’ I said, ‘Oh my God, it is a form of racism,’” Barr said. “I guess I didn’t know she was black, and I’ll cop to it, but I thought she was white.”
“But you still regret and don’t excuse what you wrote,” asked Boteach, who has known Barr for over 20 years.
“Of course, no I don’t excuse it. I horribly regret it. Are you kidding? I lost everything, and I regretted it before I lost everything,” Barr responded. “And I said to God, ‘I am willing to accept whatever consequences this brings because I know I’ve done wrong. I’m willing to accept what the consequences are.’”
“I’ve made myself a hate magnet,” she added.
Breaking down in tears during the interview, Barr said she feels great remorse about what happened:
“After your heart is unfrozen and after it stops being broken from the pain you caused others, you stop being a robot and you’ve got to come back to God. I can’t defend it. I don’t want to defend it.”
“I caused a lot of pain. I know that, and that’s the worse feeling in the world. I caused pain for my family, I caused pain for my mother, I caused pain to the 200 out-of-work actors that I loved, and the crew and writers. I feel so bad that they gave me another chance and I blew it.”
“But I did it. And what can I do now except for say… I’m not a racist, I’m an idiot. And I might have done something that comes across as bigoted and ignorant, and I know that that’s how it came across. And you know, I just ask for forgiveness because I do love all people, I really do.”
Last week ABC said it has ordered a spinoff of the Roseanne TV show that be about the Conner family, but without Roseanne participating.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.