Roseanne Barr's Conflicting Apology Tweets Make The Whole Situation Even More Confusing
In the wake of the cancellation of her show, Roseanne Barr apologized for her offensive tweet about Valerie Jarrett via an official statement shared by a BuzzFeed News reporter. But almost as soon as the apology was issued, the actor seemingly undermined it with conflicting statements across social media, including tweets directed at her co-stars. In some, Barr took responsibility for her actions, and in others, she cast that responsibility elsewhere — the only consistency so far has been the trail of confusion she's left in her path. (Bustle reached out to Barr's rep for comment on the Twitter backlash and cancellation on Tuesday, but did not receive an immediate response.)
The Roseanne reboot was canceled on May 29, after Barr posted a racist tweet insulting Jarrett, referring to the trusted adviser of former President Obama as what would happen if "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby." The tweet has since been deleted, and Barr has issued a stream of apologies, starting with a tweet posted on Tuesday morning almost immediately after her offensive Jarrett tweet that read, "I apologize. I am now leaving Twitter."
But she didn't, and late on Tuesday night, the 65-year-old issued a more lengthy official statement in which she got more specific about exactly what she was apologizing for. The screenshotted apology was posted for Barr by BuzzFeed News writer Kate Aurthur and read:
"I deeply regret my comments from late last night on Twitter. Above all, I want to apologize to Valerie Jarrett, as well as to ABC and the cast and crew of the Roseanne show. I am sorry for making a thoughtless joke that does not reflect my values — I love all people and I am sorry. Today my words caused hundreds of hardworking people to lose their jobs. I also sincerely apologize to the audience that has embraced my work for decades. I apologize from the bottom of my heart and hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me."
"This was written by me," Barr confirmed in a reply to the statement posted by Aurthur, also adding, "thanks Kate!" and "I have nothing more to say." And hopefully that's true, because it seems that every time the actor opens her mouth or sits down to tweet, it only serves to confuse the situation more.
In just the first 24 hours post-cancellation, the actor has already seemingly blamed the sleep drug Ambien for her tweets, deleted that claim, and insisted that she didn't realize Jarrett was black, all of which sound much more like making excuses than taking responsibility. (Sanofi US, the manufacturer of Ambien, tweeted a message directed at Barr's comments, which read: "People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world. While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.")
Granted, some of Barr's statements are positive, like ones she posted from her own account apologizing to Jarrett, or attempting to call off her fans. But as followers have pointed out, Barr's official statements are at odds with the items she's continued retweeting in light of the controversy, many of them problematic at best and deeply racist at worst.
And that juxtaposition carries through to the actor's interactions with her former coworkers as well, who she apologized to in one statement, yet seemingly went after hours later. Even as Barr has retweeted statements from fellow actors like Sara Gilbert denouncing her behavior, People noted that she's also responded to many of her co-stars directly. And just as on her own Twitter, she takes a very different tone in these replies.
Barr retweeted Gilbert's statement seen above, but also commented on it, "Wow! unreal." In response to a statement posted by Roseanne's DJ Conner, actor Michael Fishman, Barr commented, "i created the platform for that inclusivity and you know it.ME. You throw me under the bus. nice!"
For fans of the show, or even just those optimistic that it could help promote various perspectives on TV, the comments and total lack of consistency are heartbreaking. If Barr truly wants the world to believe that she realizes her statements are unacceptable, then she needs not only to apologize for them, but stop making such statements altogether.
With every tweet, she stubbornly digs herself a little deeper in this hole, so it's probably a positive thing that the show was canceled, so that she can't drag any other aspect of this nostalgic franchise down there with her.