Roseanne Barr tearfully apologizes for racist tweet

Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In a wide-ranging interview with spiritual adviser Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, recorded after ABC’s cancellation of the Rosanne reboot nearly a month ago and released Sunday, Roseanne Barr gave an emotional apology for tweeting a remark comparing a black former Barack Obama White House adviser to a character from Planet of the Apes, which was widely considered racist. 

Through tears, the 65-year-old comedian told Boteach, “I have black children in my family…I can’t let ‘em say these things about that, after thirty years of my putting my family and my health and my livelihood at risk to stand up for people.”

Barr continued: “I’m a lot of things.  I’m a loudmouth and all that stuff but I’m not stupid, for God’s sake, and I never would have wittingly called any black person a — say they are a monkey.  I never would do that, and I didn’t do that.”

Declaring that her actions have made her “a hate magnet” because of the scorn they’ve attracted, Barr also again blamed her tweet on being under the influence of the sleep aid Ambien. 

“I’ve made a huge error and I told ABC when they called me,” said Barr. “They said…“What were you possibly thinking to say this egregious and unforgivable thing you said? Now first of all I had already apologized and removed it by then, ’cause it wasn’t up very long. You know, sometimes you reread your tweets, especially Memorial Day weekend at 2am, on Ambien. And that’s no excuse, but that is what was real. There’s no excuse. I don’t excuse it. It’s an explanation. I was impaired, you know.”

“No, I don’t excuse it,” Barr said.  “I horribly regret it. Are you kidding? I’ve lost everything.”

Ironically, Barr said when she first returned to ABC, both they and her family told her to avoid Twitter.  “Get off Twitter, they said, because you’ll shoot yourself in the foot if you’re on there,” recalled Barr, who said she agreed.

ABC last week announced it will launch a Roseanne spinoff this fall that for now has the working title of The Connors, that’ll feature all of the Roseanne principal cast members but not Barr, who will have no connection to the show nor receive any financial compensation.

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