Roseanne Barr on Being Canceled: “I’m the Only Person Who’s Lost Everything”

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Nearly five years after Roseanne Barr was fired from the revival of her hit sitcom, Roseanne, after posting a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, a senior aide to President Barack Obama, the comedian is dipping her toe back into the spotlight. 

Fox Nation will premiere both Barr’s new stand-up special, Roseanne Barr: Cancel This!, and a documentary about her, Who Is Roseanne Barr?, on Monday. Ahead of that day, the controversial figure spoke to the Los Angeles Times about life post-cancellation and her feelings regarding The Conners, a spin-off centered on the remaining cast members of her series that is currently airing its fifth season. 

Barr told the Times that her ouster from Hollywood “was a witch-burning,” and that ABC “denied me the right to apologize” for her tweet. “Oh, my God, they just hated me so badly. I had never known that they hated me like that,” the 70-year-old said. “They hate me because I have talent, because I have an opinion. Even though Roseanne became their No. 1 show, they’d rather not have a No. 1 show.” She claimed that during a call with top network brass, “I told them I thought [Jarrett] was white. I said I would go on my show and explain it. They wouldn’t let me. They decided I was a liar in my apology.”

Although the Roseanne revival was a ratings hit, then ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey terminated the series with this statement: “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.” Sara Gilbert, a star and executive producer of the series, also condemned Barr’s tweets: “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,” she wrote at the time. 

“I can’t believe what they did, with all the pain that I went through to bring the show back. And it didn’t faze them to murder my character, either,” Barr said of her castmates and collaborators. “They s— on my contribution to television and the show itself. But I forgive everybody. I started thinking that God took me out of there to save me. And once I started thinking that way, I was, like, a lot better off.” 

Roseanne Barr on Being Canceled “Im the Only Person Whos Lost Everything”

Robert Trachtenberg/Getty Images

When the Times asked if Barr watches The Conners, she replied: “No. I just can’t bear it, so I don’t. When they killed my character off, that was a message to me, knowing that I’m mentally ill or have mental health issues, that they did want me to commit suicide. They killed my character, and my character.”

Barr then compared her plight to those of Dave Chappelle, who has come under fire for transphobic jokes he’s told, and Louis C.K., who admitted to sexual misconduct with multiple women in 2017. Nobody else in Hollywood has been shunted aside like her, Barr claimed, “although they always throw in Dave Chappelle and Louis C.K. Well, Louis C.K. did lose everything, but he committed an actual [offense]. And Dave Chappelle was protected by Netflix.” 


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