Wanda Sykes Quits ABC's Roseanne Reboot Amidst Furor Over Roseanne Barr's Racist Tweets
Wanda Sykes and Chelsea Clinton led the fierce and swift backlash against Roseanne Barr for her baldly racist Twitter rant overnight on Monday, with Sykes quitting as a consulting producer on the actress’s hit ABC sitcom Roseanne.
In Barr’s attack on former Barack Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, who is black, she wrote in the now-deleted tweet: “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” using Jarrett’s initials in response to a tweet about a conspiracy theory about the Obama administration.
The comedienne then wrote: “ISLAM is not a RACE, lefties. Islam includes EVERY RACE of people.”
After several more hours of retweeting false conspiracy theories while the Twitterverse expressed outrage at Barr’s racism, with calls for the cancellation of her show, the star tweeted an apology:
“I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans,” Barr wrote. “I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me – my joke was in bad taste.”
While ABC has not yet issued a statement, Sykes quit via Twitter shortly after noon Tuesday: “I will not be returning to @RoseanneOnABC.”
Other celebrities and notables also expressed their outrage following Barr’s jaw-dropping rant.
Barr, a supporter of Donald Trump, began the tweetstorm just before midnight Monday, writing “Chelsea Soros Clinton,” followed up by a the now-deleted lie that “she’s married to soros nephew,” referring to billionaire George Soros.
RELATED VIDEO: House Divided: Lecy Goranson on How the Cast of ‘Roseanne’ Is Able to See Past Political Differences
The comedienne then tweeted out the right-wing falsehood that Soros, who is jewish, is a Nazi sympathizer.
“soros’ goal; the overthrow of us constitutional republic by buying/backing candidates 4 local district attorney races who will ignore US law & favor ‘feelings’ instead-and call everyone who is alarmed by that ‘racist.'”
Chelsea responded to Barr’s tweet about herself:
“Good morning Roseanne – my given middle name is Victoria. I imagine George Soros’s nephews are lovely people. I’m just not married to one. I am grateful for the important work @OpenSociety does in the world. Have a great day!”
Barr then shot back at Clinton with more falsehoods about Soros:
“Sorry to have tweeted incorrect info about you! I Please forgive me! By the way, George Soros is a nazi who turned in his fellow Jews [to] be murdered in German concentration camps & stole their wealth-were you aware of that? But, we all make mistakes, right Chelsea?”
Barr finished her Internet tirade with a tweet that stated “I apologize. I am now leaving Twitter.”