Roseanne Barr insists that her defense of Israel — and not a racist tweet — is what ended the run of the Roseanne reboot.
“I was BDSed by ABC,” Barr reportedly said at a Monday event in Tel Aviv, referring to a Palestinian movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel. “I feel like I’ve apologized to people who didn’t understand my tweet, people who were too [expletive] stupid. I went on Twitter for the express purpose of defending Israel.”
When ABC canceled the highly rated sitcom on May 29, 2018, the network cited a tweet Barr had sent, in which she said former President Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett was the product of Planet of the Apes and the Muslim Brotherhood. At the time, ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said, “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.” The network declined to respond to Barr’s new statements.
Over the months following her departure from the network, Barr has alternately blamed her controversial tweet on sleep aids, not knowing Jarrett’s race and people’s misunderstanding. She said earlier this month that anti-Semitism was to blame for her firing.
“I’m just here to defend the Jewish people,” Barr said at the Tel Aviv event, which was sponsored by the Tel Aviv International Salon and the Times of Israel, and attended by 500 people, according to the newspaper. “There’s grotesque anti-Semitism growing every day — coming from right and now left every day. That’s why I left the left. We’ve got to get the Jews to leave the Democratic plantation.”
Barr said she was influenced by having known Holocaust survivors as a child.
“I will never stop fighting against people who hate the Jews,” Barr said. “I love being Jewish and I love Judaism. I love freedom and Jewish ethics.”
She added, “I grew up with people who had tattooed numbers on arms and told horrible stories. It affected me deeply forever.”
Barr said she regularly spoke about her religion on The Roseanne Show, her 1998 talk show on CBS. She finds it “incredible,” she said, that some people don’t know she’s Jewish.
“People who don’t know that I’m Jewish, that has afforded me some kind of privilege,” Barr said. “I get to hear what they say about Jews; you wouldn’t believe it, they’re looking for your horns.”
The comedian also took a question about her favorite moment in a career of more than three decades. Her answer was when the rebooted Roseanne was a clear hit, the top show on ABC.
“It was so great, I felt so vindicated,” Barr said. “I felt like I had brought America together, so many families mad at each other because they didn’t vote the same way.”
After the death of Roseanne, the other members of the cast signed on to do a new show, The Conners, and Barr’s character was killed off. The spinoff, which has so far failed to pull in the same ratings, aired its season finale last week, although co-star and executive producer Sara Gilbert told Yahoo Entertainment that she’s hopeful it will return.
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