Saturday 17 November 2018

Roseanne Barr apologises to former Obama aide and colleagues who lost their jobs following race storm

The comedian also said sorry to her colleagues who lost their jobs following the cancellation of her show, Roseanne.

US actress and comedian Roseanne Barr, who is at the centre of a racism storm following an offensive tweet (Steve Parsons/PA)
US actress and comedian Roseanne Barr, who is at the centre of a racism storm following an offensive tweet (Steve Parsons/PA)

By Keiran Southern, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

Roseanne Barr has returned to Twitter to apologise to Valerie Jarrett for a tweet comparing her to an ape and to her colleagues who lost their jobs following the cancellation of her sitcom.

US TV network ABC cancelled Barr’s show, Roseanne, after she sent a tweet referring to former Barack Obama adviser Jarrett as a product of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes.

Barr, 65, later deleted the tweet and apologised before saying she would be quitting Twitter but has now returned, saying sorry to both her colleagues and Jarrett.

Tagging Jarrett, she wrote: “I want to apologize to you. I am very sorry to have hurt you. I hope you can accept this sincere apology!”

Earlier she apologised to her colleagues on Roseanne who lost their jobs following the show’s cancellation.

She wrote:” Don’t feel sorry for me, guys!!-I just want to apologize to the hundreds of people,and wonderful writers (all liberal) and talented actors who lost their jobs on my show due to my stupid tweet.”

In a longer statement issued to Buzzfeed News, Barr again said sorry for the “thoughtless joke” and asked for forgiveness.

As well as the apology, Barr also retweeted messages of support from fans who had backed the star using the hashtag #StandWithRoseanne.

One tweet juxtaposed Barr’s comparison of Jarrett with an ape to other posts comparing images of Donald Trump to orangutans.

Barr also revealed she would be appearing on US comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast on Friday.

Following her original comments, Barr was widely condemned from celebrities including her own castmates.

Writing on Twitter, British actress Minnie Driver, who stars in ABC’s Speechless, wrote: “So proud of @ABCNetwork for having the ethical compunction to cancel #Rosanne despite the show’s huge numbers. We too make a show about a middle class family, come and watch us instead #speechless @Speechless_ABC.”

Sara Gilbert, who starred alongside Barr in Roseanne, labelled her comments “abhorrent”.

She said: “Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least.”

Another of Barr’s co-stars, Emma Kenney, revealed she was ready to quit the show in protest at the comments.

She tweeted: “I am hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed. The racist and distasteful comments from Roseanne are inexcusable.

“As I called my manager to quit working on Roseanne, I was told it was cancelled. I feel so empowered by @iamwandasykes, Channing Dungey and anyone at ABC standing up for morals and abuse of power. Bullies will NEVER win.”

Film director Ava DuVernay posted a photo of ABC entertainment boss Channing Dungey, along with the words: “For the record, this is Channing Dungey. Sitting on top of your world like a Queen in full judgement of your garbage and taking it out. #Roseanne.”

Jarret is yet to respond to Barr’s apology tweet, but earlier, speaking on MSNBC, said: “I’m fine. I’m worried about the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and followers who come right to their defence.”

In March, Barr told ABC’s Good Morning America that Mr Trump had called her to congratulate the ratings success her revived sitcom had experienced.

Barr has been a vocal backer of the US president and also plays one of his supporters in Roseanne.

At the time Barr said the the Republican was happy for her, adding: “I’ve known him for many years and he’s done a lot of nice things for me over the years.”

The return of Roseanne was watched by an estimated 18.4 million viewers in the US. Its original run came to an end in May 1997.

Press Association

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