Roseanne Barr says that tweeting under the influence of the prescription sleep aid Ambien is what led her to post a racist remark that subsequently got her sitcom, “Roseanne”, cancelled by ABC.
The 65-year-old actress and outspoken conservative spent much of Tuesday night half-apologizing for the remark, tweeting — among many other things — that the since-deleted racist comment was a “mistake” made late at night.
“Guys I did something unforgivable so do not defend me,” Barr wrote, after retweeting many fans who had been defending her. “It was 2 in the morning and I was Ambien tweeting.”
“It was Memorial Day too,” she added. “I went too far and do not want it defended-it was egregious Indefensible. I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but… don’t defend it, please. Ty.”
Ambien maker Sanofi Aventis clapped back at Barr, insisting “racism” is not a side effect of taking the substance.
Several minutes prior to the post, she shared a similar sentiment regarding her desire for fans not to stick up for her, despite the fact that she appreciates their efforts.
“Hey guys, don’t defend me, it’s sweet of you 2 try, but… losing my show is 0 compared 2 being labeled a racist over one tweet-that I regret even more,” Barr wrote.
Barr later thanked one of her fans for defending her, writing, “I’m not a racist, just an idiot who made a bad joke. thank you for defending me tho.”
When a fan later tweeted at Barr, “We are defending your free speech and ours,” Barr responded, “Thank u, but, it’s over. I am moving on.”
In between her new posts, Barr retweeted a flurry of comments that ran the gamut condemning her, to celebrating her downfall, to full-on supporting her.
Barr’s co-stars have even been commenting on the whole thing, with Sara Gilbert posting:
However, not taking the posts lightly, Barr replied:
She also replied to a statement shared by Michael Fishman to say:
Following Barr’s tweets, producer Shonda Rhimes was also quick to take to Twitter to blast the star, insisting she’d taken Ambien before but had never been racist.
Alec Baldwin then poked fun at the Ambien tweet, posting:
On Wednesday morning, Barr continued to respond to comments made about her, this time from Argentinean-American television and radio host, David Pakman, who questioned the actress’ apology.
“Oh man this is just the best, @therealroseanne is now defending her tweets by saying Ambien made her racist?” Pakman shared on Twitter.
Barr was quick to respond:
Sanofi, the pharmaceutical company that makes Ambien, had a witty response to Barr’s claim that she was on the prescription drug while tweeting.
Barr finally addressed her conflicting bevy of back-and-forth apologies, remarks and retweets, telling critics that, if they don’t like what she has to say, they don’t have to read her posts.
“I’m sorry 4 my tweet, AND I will also defend myself as well as talk to my followers. so, go away if u don’t like it. I will handle my sadness the way I want to. I’m tired of being attacked & belittled more than other comedians who have said worse,” Barr wrote, without specifying which comedians she was referring to.
Tuesday was a whirlwind of developments and controversies that all began when Barr tweeted a racist “joke” about former White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.
“Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” Barr wrote in a since-deleted tweet, referring to Jarrett, who is black and was born in Iran. The comment sparked an immediate backlash and led to ABC nixing the show’s upcoming second revival season, which had already been picked up for 13 episodes and was set to begin production in August.
ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said in a statement later in the day, “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.” ABC removed all references to the revival series on its press site and Viacom has pulled all re-runs of the sitcom’s entire run from all of its channels.
After claiming she was going to leave Twitter Tuesday morning, Barr’s very outspoken return later in the evening began with tweets apologizing to the show’s “all liberal” writers and cast, and then two direct apologies tweeted at Jarrett.
For more on the on-going controversy, check out the video below.
‘Roseanne’ Cast & Crew ‘In Shock’ As Roseanne Barr Apologizes For Cancellation (Exclusive)
Roseanne Barr Apologizes to Valerie Jarrett, ‘Roseanne’ Cast and Crew After Show’s Cancellation
Sara Gilbert Reacts to ‘Roseanne’ Cancellation: ‘This Is Incredibly Sad and Difficult’