Roseanne Barr lashes out at co-stars; Trump wonders why he hasn't gotten an apology from ABC too
Roseanne Barr's Twitter saga didn't end with the cancellation of her show Tuesday, early Wednesday morning, she was back at it, first blaming Ambien and defensively comparing ABC's response to her racist tweetstorm to those of other celebrities who have made controversial comments.
And President Donald Trump finally weighed in on the rapidly unfolding controversy Wednesday, questioning why the head of ABC parent company Disney had called Valerie Jarrett - the target of Barr's racist comments - to apologize, when he hadn't received similar treatment.
"Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that 'ABC does not tolerate comments like those' made by Roseanne Barr," Trump tweeted. And then some sarcasm (and a third-person reference): "Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn't get the call?"
Trump might have been referring to anti-Trump comments by Keith Olbermann, who recently returned to Disney-owned ESPN; late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel's mocking of Melania Trump's accent; or "The View's" Joy Behar calling Vice President Mike Pence mentally ill because of his faith. Barr had retweeted people comparing those celebrities' treatment by the network to her own, insinuating there was a double standard at play.
And after blaming the sleep medication for the Twitter rant, Barr also turned to a surprising target - her "Roseanne" team. She reposted a tweet by Sara Gilbert, the actress who played her daughter, Darlene, on the show and served as executive producer. Gilbert had called Barr's initial comments "abhorrent," saying they "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."
"Wow! unreal," Barr wrote in response. Later, she moderated her stance: "no, I understand her position and why she said what she said. i forgive her. It just shocked me a bit," she wrote.
She also retweeted a long post by Michael Fishman, who played her son, D.J. In his tweet, the actor bemoaned the impact of Barr's words on the cast and crew and said the show's story lines were often about inclusiveness. "i created the platform for that inclusivity and you know it. ME," Barr wrote. "You throw me under the bus. nice!"
And Barr pointed a finger at Wanda Sykes, the show's consulting producer, for ultimately causing the show's demise. Sykes had responded to Barr's invective by announcing via Twitter that she wouldn't return to the show. She wrote of Sykes, "her tweet made ABC very nervous and they cancelled the show."
Barr seemed to liken the reaction from her co-stars and those a supporter called "her underlings" to the way Trump complains about members of his administration being "disloyal." In response to tweets calling out Gilbert and Emma Kenney, who plays Barr's granddaughter, Barr wrote, "i feel bad for @POTUS-he goes thru this every single day."
And she said she thinks the reason ABC pulled the plug was a threatened boycott by advertisers.
Barr had earlier apologized to members of the cast and crew, but the tweet was deleted. "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," she wrote.
Meanwhile, Sanofi, the maker of Ambien, clapped back at Barr. "While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication," the company tweeted, echoing a sentiment that many on social media had shared after Barr claimed the sleep aid was behind her offensive words.
Author information: Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.