IN AN emotional interview, disgraced actress Roseanne Barr has said she feels remorse for the racist tweet that prompted ABC to cancel the revival of Roseanne.
Barr spoke through tears for much of the interview, saying she âmade myself a hate magnetâ and ânever would have wittingly called any black person a monkeyâ.
âItâs really hard to say this, but I didnât mean what they think I meant. And thatâs whatâs so painful. But I have to face that it hurt people. When you hurt people even unwillingly thereâs no excuse,â she said.
âI apologise to anyone who thought or felt offended and who thought that I meant something that I, in fact, did not mean. It was my own ignorance, and thereâs no excuse for that ignorance. But I didnât mean it the way theyâre saying I meant it.â
Sobbing, Barr said it âkillsâ her that people now think sheâs a racist.
âI have black children in my family. I canât, I canât let them say these things about that, after 30 years of putting my family and my health and my livelihood at risk to stand up for people. Iâm a lot of things, a loudmouth and all that stuff, but Iâm not stupid for Godâs sake. I never would have wittingly called any black person a monkey. I just wouldnât do that. I didnât do that. And people think that I did and it just kills me,â she said.
âI didnât do that. And if they do think that, Iâm just so sorry that I was so unclear and stupid. Iâm very sorry. But I donât think that and I would never do that. I have loved ones who are African-American, and I just canât stand it.â
The tweet that got Roseanne cancelled referred to Barack Obamaâs top adviser Valerie Jarrett. Barr said that if the Muslim Brotherhood had a baby with Planet of the Apes, it would be Ms Jarrett.
In the interview with Rabbi Shmuley, Barr claimed she had targeted Ms Jarrett because of her politics.
âI donât agree with her politics and I thought she was white, I did not know she was a black woman,â she said.
âI am so sorry and humiliated and you know, angry at myself. But in my heart I just made a stupid error. I told that to ABC, and they didnât accept it or want to hear it. But thatâs the truth, and I thought she was white.â
Barr said she tried to get Ms Jarrettâs phone number to apologise to her personally, but couldnât find it. The Rabbi promised to try to get hold of it for her.
âI should have been better, and I wasnât. And I caused a lot of pain. I know that, and thatâs 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 they gave me another chance and I blew it.â
The actress broke down completely as she revealed the consequences of her mistake âdonât ever stopâ.
âI horribly regret it. Are you kidding? I lost everything, and I regretted it before I lost everything. And I said to God, âI am willing to accept whatever consequences this brings because I know Iâve done wrong. Iâm going to accept what the consequences are,â and I do, and I have. But they donât ever stop. They donât accept my apology, or explanation. And Iâve made myself a hate magnet. And as a Jew, itâs just horrible. Itâs horrible.â
Rabbi Shmuley described the interview as âmovingâ and âpowerfulâ, but listeners on social media are split. Some believe Barr was sincere and should be forgiven while others maintain she got what she deserved.
Meanwhile, ABC â the network which broadcast Roseanne â announced on Thursday it will air a 10-episode Conner family sitcom this autumn in the US, without Barr in it.
The reboot of Roseanne had an excellent first season in the ratings – it also earned an estimated $45 million in advertising revenue for ABC America – when its future was thrown into doubt by a racist tweet.
The spinoff called The Conners after Barr relinquished any creative or financial participation in it, which the network had said was a condition of such a series.
In a statement issued by the showâs producer, Barr said she agreed to the settlement to save the jobs of 200 cast and crew members who were idled when Roseanne was cancelled last month.
âI regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from âRoseanne,â she said, adding, âI wish the best for everyone involved.â
A Barr-less Roseanne sitcom might get viewers to tune in but Karen Tongson, a professor of English, Gender Studies and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California doesnât believe theyâll all hang around.
âI think people will be curious to see what they try to do with the exit of its lead. But Iâm not sure it will hold necessarily,â she said.
âPeople tuned in largely because of the volatility of Roseanne – the character and also the personality,â she added. âIt has the opportunity to gain different audiences and new audiences by centering certain characters, but I think that some of that tension might be removed.â