Sobbing Roseanne Barr Tries Again to Defend Herself Over Racist Tweet: ‘I Didn’t Know’ Valerie Jarrett Is Black

Comedian Roseanne Barr tried to defend herself—again—after a series of racist tweets prompted the cancellation of her highly-rated ABC sitcom, insisting she “didn’t know” former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett is black.


“When ABC called me and said, ‘What is the reason for your egregious racism?,’ I said, ‘Oh my God, it is a form of racism,’” Barr told Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, her spiritual adviser, in an interview posted to Soundcloud on Sunday. “I guess I didn’t know she was black, and I’ll cop to it, but I thought she was white.”

Barr said she “horribly [regrets]” her racist tweet about Jarrett, who she said resembles what a person would look like if “[the] muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby.”

“It’s really hard to say this but, I didn’t mean what they think I meant,” she said. “And that’s what’s so painful. But I have to face that it hurt people. When you hurt people even unwillingly there’s no excuse.”

Barr added she apologizes 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 there’s no excuse for that ignorance,” she continued. “But I didn’t mean it the way they’re saying I meant it. And that’s really weird too because if I don’t speak for myself, who will speak for me.”

Barr also noted that she has black children in her family and would never say “they are a monkey.”

“I just wouldn’t do that,” Barr insisted. “I didn’t do that.”

“I horribly regret it,” the comedian said. “Are you kidding? I lost everything, and I regretted it before I lost everything. And I said to God, ‘I am willing to accept whatever consequences this brings because I know I’ve done wrong. I’m going to accept what the consequences are,’ and I do, and I have. But they don’t ever stop. They don’t accept my apology, or explanation. And I’ve made myself a hate magnet. And as a Jew, it’s just horrible. It’s horrible.”

Listen below, via Soundcloud:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.