Roseanne Barr is still not over Roseanne getting canceled. After first blaming Ambien and then her pro-Trump views for ABC’s decision to ax her hit series, the comedian now says she was fired due to anti-Semitism.
“I feel that what happened to me, a large part of it is anti-Semitism,” Barr told the Jerusalem Post in a phone interview from Hawaii on Thursday. “I think it played a part — the fact that I was never allowed to explain what I meant — and what I meant was a commentary on Iran — so they purposely mischaracterized what I said and wouldn’t let me explain.”
Barr continued, “And in haste they did something unprecedented that they’ve never done to any other artist. And at the base of that I think it’s because I am the most vocal person about Israel and BDS [the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement].”
The 66-year-old Jewish actress saw Roseanne abruptly canceled in May 2018 after her tweet about Valerie Jarrett, a former adviser in the Obama administration. Barr insists that the tweet, which equated Jarrett with “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes,” wasn’t racist and said her firing “had a lot to do with identifying with Israel.”
“What I said was mischaracterized purposely and repeatedly, so they didn’t even know what I meant, but they wanted to shape it and they did — they said it was something racial, when it was actually something political,” she said. “And I have never in my life done anything racist, and I think my career proves that. And they did it so quickly — to fire and label and slander my name. I think it had a lot to do with identifying with Israel.”
Yahoo Entertainment reached out to ABC for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
In two weeks, Barr will be visiting Israel to speak at the Knesset on Jan. 31. The actress noted to the Jerusalem Post that she will be discussing her firing from the show further at the event, as well as her ties to Israel, her experiences with anti-Semitism and her opposition to BDS.
“I want Israelis to know what it’s like to be an American Jew, so I’ll be speaking about that,” she stated. “You guys don’t go through the anti-Semitism that we go through in America.”
Barr will be accompanied by her friend and mentor, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. “She wrote one tweet, she apologized for it, she cried, she asked Valerie Jarrett publicly for forgiveness, she humbled herself,” he told the paper.
The cancellation of Roseanne led to the spinoff The Conners, which is currently airing on ABC. In this season’s premiere episode, it was revealed that the Roseanne Conner character died of an opioid overdose.
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