Roseanne Barr is stepping back into the spotlight nearly five years after being ousted from the revival of her beloved comedy, Roseanne, for sending a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, a senior assistant to President Barack Obama.
On Monday, Fox Nation will premiere Roseanne Barr’s new stand-up special, Roseanne Barr: Cancel This!, as well as a documentary on her, Who Is Roseanne Barr? Ahead of that date, the controversial figure spoke to the Los Angeles Times about life after cancellation and her opinions about The Conners, a spin-off focusing on the remaining cast members of her show, which is presently in its fifth season.
“I’ve survived. I’ve come out on the other side of it, finally. But it was a witch-burning. And it was terrifying,” she said.
“When they killed my character off, that was a message to me, knowing that I’m mentally ill or have mental health issues, that they did want me to commit suicide,” she said.
“They killed my character and my character. And all of that was to say thank you for bringing 28 million viewers, which they never had before and will never see again,” the actress continued. “They can kiss my ass.”
Barr’s show was canceled when she wrote a tweet comparing Barack Obama’s adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape. “Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes had a baby=vj,” the post said.
She later claimed she didn’t realize Jarrett was Black and that she was on Ambien at the time.
“I guess you would call it the dark night of the soul. I felt like the devil himself was coming against me to try to tear me apart, to punish me for believing in God,” Barr told the Times, reflecting on the consequences she faced. She said she thought ABC “hated” her and claimed she wasn’t allowed to apologize on the show.
“I said I would go on my show and explain it. They wouldn’t let me. They decided I was a liar in my apology,” Barr said.
“And they denied me the right to apologize. Oh my God, they just hated me so badly. I had never known that they hated me like that,” Barr claimed. “They hate me because I have talent, because I have an opinion. Even though ‘Roseanne’ became their No. 1 show, they’d rather not have a No. 1 show.”
The 70-year-old accused Hollywood of having double standards and pointed out that fellow stand-ups Dave Chappelle and Louis C.K. have since continued touring and drawing audiences since being “canceled” by the public.
“They didn’t do it to anyone else in Hollywood, although they always throw in Dave Chappelle and Louis C.K. Well, Louis C.K. did lose everything, but he committed an actual [offense]. And Dave Chappelle was protected by Netflix. I’m the only person who’s lost everything, whose life’s work was stolen, stolen by people who I thought loved me.”
She added, “And there was silence. There was no one in Hollywood really defending me publicly, except for Mo’Nique, who is a brave, close, dear friend.”
Barr is also furious that it didn’t “faze” any of her former coworkers to “murder” Roseanne Barr on-screen (it’s explained in season one of “The Conners” that Roseanne died off-screen of an opiate overdose).
“I can’t know what they think or feel. I don’t know why they did what they did. I’m not like them. I realized that. I can’t believe what they did, with all the pain that I went through to bring the show back. And it didn’t faze them to murder my character, either,” she shared.
Though Barr says her castmates — which includes John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, and Sara Gilbert — “s–t on [her] contribution to television,” she forgives them.
Roseanne Barr: Cancel This! is an hour-long comedy special that she said doesn’t hold back.