Roseanne Barr Says She Was "Ambien Tweeting" About Valerie Jarrett: "I'm Not a Racist, Just an Idiot"

"I gave them the weapon to kill me," the disgraced sitcom star tweets

By Zach Johnson May 30, 2018 7:00 PMTags

Enough is enough.

Roseanne Barr said she was "leaving Twitter" Tuesday—but that only lasted a few hours.

Yesterday morning, Barr tweeted she wanted to apologize for comparing former presidential aide Valerie Jarrett, who is black, to an ape. In response, Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, issued a statement, saying, "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show." Backing Dungey's decision, Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company (ABC's parent company), tweeted, "There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing."

Barr, who had deleted her tweet about Jarrett before being fired, returned to the social media platform Tuesday night, tweeting, "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. I will be on Joe Rogan's podcast friday." In another tweet, the disgraced star wrote, "I think Joe Rogan is right about ambien. Not giving excuses for what I did (tweeted) but I've done weird stuff while on ambien-cracked eggs on the wall at 2am etc."

(Rogan tweeted an old Huffington Post article about the "disturbing side effect" of Ambien, and he discussed sleep issues in a recent episode with a neuroscience and psychology professor from the University of California, Berkeley; Rogan did not mention her upcoming appearance.)

Roseanne and More TV Shows Canceled Following Controversy

In another tweet, Barr told her followers, "Guys I did something unforgiveable so do not defend me. It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended-it was egregious Indefensible. I made a mistake I wish I hadn't but…don't defend it please." Barr, who insisted she is "moving on," deleted that tweet, too. "Hey guys, don't defend me. it's sweet of you 2 try, but...losing my show is 0 compared 2 being labelled a racist over one tweet-that I regret even more," she wrote in a replacement tweet. The outspoken comic also asked fans not to boycott the network's programming slate. "I'm not a censor and they have the right to do what they wish. It's all ok," she wrote. "thanks tho guys!"

(On Wednesday, Barr took issue with a Twitter user who implied she was shucking responsibility for her actions, firing back, "i blamed myself. not ambien, stop lying." When the Twitter user pointed to her previous tweets—and the headlines they inspired—she wrote, "i blamed myself. stop lying. Yes, I have had odd ambien experiences on tweeting late at night-like many other ppl do. I BLAME MYSELF OK? it's just an explanation not an excuse, Ok, bully?")

After one of Barr's conservative fans offered his support via the social networking site, Barr replied, "i'm not a racist, just an idiot who made a bad joke. thank you for defending me tho-."

Barr, who continued to tweet throughout the night, deleted many of her tweets Wednesday. "I'm sorry 4 my tweet, AND I will also defend myself as well as talk to my followers. so, go away if u don't like it. I will handle my sadness the way I want to," she said in a since removed tweet. "I'm tired of being attacked & belittled more than other comedians who have said worse." Barr retweeted dozens of supportive tweets, including one that said, "I'm calling on @ABCNetwork @Disney to uphold their 'standards' by firing @JoyVBehar for calling Christians mentally ill. You can't treat @therealroseanne one way because she supports @realDonaldTrump & allow Joy Behar to remain employed. #BoycottABC #StandWithRoseanne #Roseanne." As Yashar Ali pointed out, Barr also retweeted a doctored photo of Whoopi Goldberg wearing a T-shirt depicting a gun to President Donald Trump's head. In reality, Goldberg was wearing a black T-shirt with the words, "And you thought I was a nasty woman before? Buckle up. Buttercup." Barr later deleted the tweet about Goldberg, as well as a doctored yearbook photo of Jarrett. She went on to attack CNN's Don Lemon, calling him a hypocrite, only to delete that tweet, too. After another supporter said he did not think Barr was a racist because she did not know Jarrett's race (and he thought she was Hispanic), she simply replied, "I thought she was Saudi."

Roseanne was the no. 1 scripted series of the season with a 6.4 rating in the key demo, and CMT, Paramount Network and TV Land and CMT have pulled all re-runs. Jarrett weighed in on the attack in an MSNBC town hall called "Everyday Racism in America" Tuesday. "First of all, I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment. I'm fine," Jarrett said. "I'm worried about all the people out there who don't have a circle of friends and followers coming to their defense."

Sara Gilbert, who played Barr's daughter on the sitcom, was just one of the cast members to express her disappointment Tuesday. Barr was taken aback by Gilbert's response, but later said, "I understand her position and why she said what she said. i forgive her. It just shocked me a bit, but I indeed f--ked up." Just before 7 a.m. Wednesday, Roseanne thanked another one of her supporters for standing by her. "I gave them the weapon to kill me-I was not equipped to take all the heat," the comic tweeted. "I cracked & made a stupid insensitive joke-it's my fault."

After a nap, Barr resumed her tweet-and-delete spree:


(Originally published on Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at 5:30 a.m. PDT.)