Roseanne Barr says 'I'm not a racist' while blaming bigoted tweet on Ambien

The comedian spent Tuesday night retweeting defenses and making excuses.

May 30, 2018, 3:32 PM

Reeling from the cancellation of her hit ABC show, Roseanne Barr took to Twitter today to proclaim "I'm not a racist" despite the uproar over her social media post that has been widely bashed as bigoted.

Barr's defense came after she issued an apology to Valerie Jarrett, the former adviser to President Barack Obama and the target of her offensive Monday morning tweet. She also slammed some of her former co-stars and retweeted defenses of her racist comments that prompted ABC to cancel her hit TV series.

"I'm not a racist, I never was & I never will be," Barr tweeted Wednesday afternoon. "One stupid joke in a lifetime of fighting 4 civil rights 4 all minorities, against networks, studios, at the expense of my nervous system/family/wealth will NEVER b taken from me."

Barr tweeted multiple apologies to Jarrett for posting a tweet saying Jarrett was the product of a combination of "Planet of the Apes" and the Muslim Brotherhood. She quickly deleted the tweet but it drew widespread condemnation and the cancellation of her self-titled series reboot after one season.

President Donald Trump, whom Barr is an unabashed supporter of, weighed in for the first time on the controversy. While Trump did not defend Barr's tweet on Jarrett, he did mention how he's never gotten an apologetic call from Bob Iger, the chief executive officer of Disney, ABC's parent company.

"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 apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?"

During her press briefing this afternoon, White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders said Trump was only calling out "media bias."

"Nobody is defending what she [Barr] said," Sanders said.

Within minutes of her apology to Jarrett, Barr quickly began retweeting defenses of her comments and later this morning criticized "Roseanne" co-stars Sara Gilbert and Michael Fishman, who both released statements Tuesday critical of the show's star.

Fishman, who played Barr's son D.J. Conner on both the original and the reboot, tweeted "today is one of the hardest days of my life" and condemned her tweet, saying, "we must stand-up against; bias, hatred, bigotry and ignorance."

Barr, 65, responded, "i created the platform for that inclusivity and you know it. ME. You throw me under the bus. nice!"

She responded simply "Wow! unreal" to Gilbert's statement from Tuesday calling Barr's tweet "abhorrent."

Valerie Jarrett speaks in Washington, May 31, 2017. | Roseanne Barr speaks at a press conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., March 23, 2018.
AFP | WireImage/Getty Images

Barr tweeted or retweeted over 70 messages after her initial apology to "the hundreds of people, and wonderful writers (all liberal) and talented actors who lost their jobs on my show due to my stupid tweet.” She sent dozens more direct replies to Twitter users.

Many of the tweets defended Barr's comments, saying she was not racist and attempting to point out the perceived hypocrisy on Disney’s part. Barr also claimed she did not know Jarrett was black, first saying she believed she was Saudi, then Jewish and Persian and finally that she believed Jarrett was white.

She blamed the initial tweet about Jarrett on the sleep medication Ambien, although she later deleted multiple tweets with references to the prescription sleep aid. The first of those tweets said, "It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended."

The cast of the sitcom "Roseanne" are pictured in this undated photo.
Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images

Sanofi U.S., the biopharmaceutical company that makes Ambien, responded to Barr's tweet Wednesday morning, condemning her excuse that she was "ambien tweeting."

"People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world. While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication," the company said in a tweet.

Roseanne Barr is pictured in the episode "Roseanne Gets the Chair" on "Roseanne."
Adam Rose/ABC

As for Barr, she finally signed off at 3 a.m., tweeting, "thanks for all your kind comments, everyone! Love u all goodnight."

She then sent two more retweets, including a defense from InfoWars editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson.

ABC News is a division of the Walt Disney Co.

Related Topics