Roseanne Barr’s apology with a famous rabbi, which was taped just two days after ABC canceled her sitcom in response to a racist tweet about former White House aide Valerie Jarrett, has finally been released.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Barr’s longtime friend and spiritual advisor, teased his podcast at Stand Up NY with the former ABC star shortly after the scandal, revealing he decided not to air it. In early June, Boteach, who has been friends with Barr for more than 20 years, tweeted that he recorded a podcast Roseanne but decided not to release it out of respect for her.
“I want to give her space to reflect on the recent events and releasing the recording is a decision she will make at the appropriate time,” the rabbi wrote.
In Roseanne Barr’s infamous tweet she wrote of Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=VJ.”
After backlash ensued, Barr blamed the tweet on Ambien-tweeting in the middle of the night over Memorial Day weekend, and also explained that she thought Jarrett was white.
Now that Roseanne has stepped back from her former show and the new spinoff, The Conners, has been announced, Boteach revealed that his full interview with the actress-comedian has been released on Soundcloud. In the interview, a tearful Roseanne Barr explains exactly what she meant when she made the tweet about Jarrett, and how it was misconstrued.
“I’m a lot of things,” Barr said.
“I’m a loudmouth and all that stuff, but I’m not stupid, for God’s sake, and I never would have wittingly called any black person … say they are a monkey. I never would do that! And I didn’t do that. And if people think that I did that it just kills me. I didn’t do that, although they think I did. And if they do think that I am so sorry that it was so unclear and stupid.”
Roseanne also made it clear that she makes no excuses for the inappropriate tweet.
“I don’t excuse it,” Roseanne said. “I horribly regret it, are you kidding? I’ve lost everything. And I regretted it before I lost everything 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. And, I do. And I have.”
Barr revealed that she is a follower of the Torah and that Martin Luther King Jr. is her idol. The actress reiterated that she didn’t mean what people think she meant when she made the erroneous tweet and that it is “painful” for her. Still, Roseanne admitted that she has to face the fact that she hurt people, and she once again apologized to anyone that she has offended.
Roseanne Barr began sobbing as she explained how the scandal has affected her family.
“I have black children in my family,” Roseanne said. “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 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… 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….They said, ‘What were you possibly thinking to say this egregious and unforgivable thing you said?’ Now, first of all, I had already apologized and removed it by then cause it wasn’t up very long. You know, sometimes you reread your tweets, especially Memorial Day weekend at 2 a.m., on Ambien. And that’s no excuse, but that is what was real…There’s no excuse. I don’t excuse it. It’s an explanation. I was impaired you know.”
Barr revealed that when ABC hired her for the Roseanne reboot last year, the network asked her up front to get off Twitter. Barr revealed that she promised to get off the social media site and her kids even became involved and told her she had to stop. But Barr had one condition.
“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,” Roseanne revealed.
Roseanne explained that she does not agree with Valerie Jarrett’s politics and that she thought she was white.
Barr, who said she didn’t want any of her fans to defend he tweet and revealed that she donated money to charities focused on African-American children’s education in the aftermath of the scandal, also admitted she understands how people viewed your tweet about Jarrett and how wrong it was. But she also claimed that “every day on Twitter Jews are called actual apes, and actual pigs” and nobody says anything about it.
“I didn’t say black people look like apes, come on,” Barr continued. “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.”
Roseanne Barr added that she apologized to Jarrett on Twitter and even tried to track down her phone number so she could call her to talk to her personally, but she was unable to obtain her number.
“Sometimes you just say the wrong words and I should have known better,” Barr explained. “I shouldn’t have done it. I wish to hell I wouldn’t have done it or be more clear with a few letters. I should have been better, and I wasn’t. And I caused a lot of pain. I know that, and that’s the worst feeling in the world. I caused pain for my family, I caused pain for my mother, I caused pain to the two hundred 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 say, of course, I’m not a racist, I’m an idiot.”
In the weeks following the now-released interview with Rabbi Shmuley, Roseanne Barr has walked away from all financial stakes in the upcoming Roseanne spinoff, The Conners, as a way to protect the jobs of more than 200 crew and cast members. The new series will star all of the former Roseanne stars—sans Roseanne.