In her first TV interview since getting fired by ABC, Roseanne Barr apologized to Valerie Jarrett for her racist tweet in May

By Karen Mizoguchi and Amanda Bell
July 26, 2018 10:08 PM
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Just weeks after declaring that she would not be doing any TV interviews and would instead rely on her own YouTube series to get her voice out, Roseanne Barr found her way back onto cable television by sitting down for an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

“I was hacked,” Barr, 65, joked of her controversial tweet about Valerie Jarrett, whom the actress likened to an “ape.”

“I’ve apologized a lot. It’s been two months. I’ve apologized and explained and asked for forgiveness,” she said. “I was so sad that people thought [the tweet] was racist. And I went into the whole discussion of racism and that blew my mind because it was so much what the show I was doing was about. Why couldn’t they see my work?”

Barr also said the backlash to her racist tweet affected her because of certain members in her family. “The thing that broke my heart the most is that I have African-American children in my family and in my loving circle,” the embattled TV star explained.

“I’m so sad that anyone thinks that of me, but I’m not that person. I was going through a very hard time,” Barr said. “How would you like it to be sitting in a room of 25 people that think [Donald] Trump is the worst thing that ever happened to the United States. Could you do your job?”

She added, “I didn’t [know better]. I made a mistake. It cost me everything, my life’s work. I wish I worded it better.”

Roseanne Barr
Fox News

And when Hannity, 56, brought up her past tweets about Republicans, Catholics and other groups, Barr jokingly responded: “I hate everyone equally. Everybody deserves to be joked about. Anyone in any kind of position of power deserves to have a joke about them. If they can’t laugh at themselves, that means something.”

Though Barr noted that Jarrett previously said she would not be watching her Hannity interview, the comedian addressed the camera and revealed what she would like Jarrett to know.

“Let’s talk about it. Let’s really turn this into a teachable moment. We need to talk about race and everything that’s connected to it. Her skin tone is like mine and I’m brown,” Barr said.

“I didn’t know she was African-American. I assumed because she was from Iran and she lived in Iran for such a long time,” she said. “If she’s watching, I’m so sorry you thought I was racist and you thought that my tweet was racist because it wasn’t. It was political. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding that caused my ill-worded tweet. I’m sorry that you feel harmed and hurt, I never meant that. For that, I apologize. I never meant to hurt anybody or say anything negative about an entire race of people. My 30 years of work can attest to that.”

She concluded her apology saying, “Plus, I’d tell her she needs to get a new haircut.”

As for her Twitter account, Barr revealed, “My kids took it away from me forever.”

ABC canceled Roseanne in May, despite its monster ratings, after Barr posted what the network’s Entertainment President Channing Dungey called an “abhorrent” and “repugnant” tweet about former Obama Administration official Jarrett. Hannity initially responded to the tweet by saying it was “outrageous.”

Barr has since offered several defenses for her choice of words — which compared Jarrett to Planet of the Apes and the Muslim Brotherhood — including insisting she was misunderstood, under the influence of Ambien, and repeatedly contending that she didn’t know Jarrett was black.

The actress and producer ultimately agreed to walk away from the Roseanne TV world to make room for a spin-off series, which focuses on Sara Gilbert‘s Darlene Conner but is expected to see the return of John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf. However, she has maintained that her support of Donald Trump is what cost her the show, saying, “I voted for Donald Trump and that is not allowed in Hollywood.”