Roseanne Barr says tweet 'cost me everything' but wasn't racist

Comedian Roseanne Barr apologized on Thursday for her controversial Twitter comment that caused the cancellation of her U.S. comedy show "Roseanne," but insisted she had been misunderstood and said the mistake "cost me everything."

Barr said in an hour-long television interview, her first since comparing a black former Obama administration official to an ape, that her May tweet was political in nature, not racist.

"I was so sad that people thought it was racist," Barr told Fox News host Sean Hannity. She said the tweet referencing former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett - "muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj" - was a bid to seek accountability for the 2015 international agreement limiting Iran's nuclear program.

She did not clarify what she believed was Jarrett's involvement in the agreement.

"I made a mistake obviously. It cost me everything, my life's work. And I paid the price for it. But no, I did not know she (Jarrett) was black," she said.

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Roseanne Barr through the years
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON -- Air Date 11/06/1985 -- Pictured: Comedian Roseanne Barr performs on November 6, 1985 (Photo by Gene Arias/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 13 -- Pictured: Roseanne Barr as operator during 'MetroCard' skit on February 16, 1991 -- (Photo by: Alan Singer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
ROSEANNE - 'Pretty in Black' which aired on October 13, 1992. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) ROSEANNE BARR
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 10/30/1995 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actress Roseanne Barr during an interview with host Jay Leno on October 30, 1995 -- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
375669 01: 1998 Roseanne Barr Of The Roseanne Show. (Photo By Getty Images)
1998 Roseanne Barr Of The Roseanne Show. (Photo By Getty Images)
E364920 03: Comedienne Roseanne Barr poses with her husband Ben Thomas at the launch of her new CD titled 'I Just Can''t Help Myself' at the Tower Records store in Hollywood, California, February 21, 2000. The star performed with her band 'DiXXX' whom her husband is a member. (Photo by Chris Martinez)
382709 04: Actress Roseanne Barr and her husband Ben Thomas arrive at Project Angel Food''s Eight Annual 'Devine Design' Galla at the Pacific Design Center November 30, 2000 in West Hollywood, CA. The events proceeds go directly to Project Angel Food which provides free nutritional counseling and life-sustaining meals each day to 1,2000 men, women and children disabled by HIV/AIDS. (Photo byNewsmakers)
385218 39: Actress Roseanne Barr attends February 5, 2001 at the Lane Bryant fashion show at Studio 54 in New York City. (Photo by George De Sota/Newsmakers)
LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 18: Comedian/actress Roseanne Barr poses at the 'Comic Relief 2006' show at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace November 18, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The benefit was held to help families in the Gulf Coast affected by Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - OCTOBER 23: Actress Roseanne Barr (L) with actor Will Ferrell (R) and wife Viveca Paulin arrive at the premiere of 'Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America' held at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre on October 23, 2006 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 04: Actress/writer Roseanne Barr arrives at the Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne Barr at Hollywood Palladium on August 4, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 04: Roastee Roseanne Barr onstage during the Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne Barr at Hollywood Palladium on August 4, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 10: Actress Roseanne Barr attends The Paley Center For Media's 2014 PaleyFest Icon Award announcement at The Paley Center for Media on March 10, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18: (EDITORS NOTE: This image was processed using digital filters) Roseanne Barr attends the world premiere of documentary: 'Roseanne For President!' during the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theatre on April 18, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 10: Actress Roseanne Barr attends The Paley Center For Media's 2014 PaleyFest Icon Award announcement at The Paley Center for Media on March 10, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 23: Actress Roseanne Barr attends the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival LA Kickoff Reception at The Standard, Hollywood on March 23, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Roseanne Barr (L) attends the cinema prive And PANDORA Jewelry Host A Special Screening Of 'Cake' on November 23, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for cinema prive)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18: Roseanne Barr (C) and children Jake Pentland (L) and Brandi Brown attend the world premiere of documentary: 'Roseanne For President!' during the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theatre on April 18, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 01: Actress Roseanne Barr attends the photo call for Roseanne Barr's 'Roseanne For President!' at Sundance Sunset Cinema on July 01, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Boardman/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 01: Actress Roseanne Barr attends the photo call for Roseanne Barr's 'Roseanne For President!' at Sundance Sunset Cinema on July 1, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage,,)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Roseanne Barr attends The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Actors John Goodman (L) and Roseanne Barr celebrate The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards with Moet & Chandon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 08: Roseanne Barr attends the Disney ABC Television Group hosts TCA Winter Press Tour 2018 held at The Langham Huntington on January 8, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
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Jarrett was born in Iran to parents of European and African-American descent. She said on Wednesday she did not intend to watch Barr's interview.

Addressing Jarrett directly, Barr said on Thursday: "I'm sorry you feel harmed and hurt because I never meant that."

Barr's tweet caused a storm of outrage and the ABC network swiftly canceled the revival of her top-rated comedy series "Roseanne" about a working-class American family in the era of President Donald Trump.

ABC has since announced the show will return in October as a spinoff called "The Conners" with all the main characters except Barr, who will have no financial or creative involvement.

"I have apologized a lot. I feel that I have apologized and explained and asked for forgiveness and made recompense," Barr said on Thursday, adding that she has made donations to "several African-American things."

The rambling interview also covered Barr's mental health, her Jewish upbringing, and her views on Trump, who the actress has said she voted for in the 2016 presidential elections.

"I am not a racist, and the people who voted for Trump are not racist either, and Trump is not a racist. Sorry," she said.

Barr also gave other explanations for her tweet, saying she had taken the sleep aid Ambien, drunk two beers and was taking antidepressant medication on the night she posted on the social media network two months ago.

She said she had not tried to contact Jarrett to apologize personally because she feared being screamed at on the phone.

Earlier in the interview, however, Barr said, "Everybody deserves to be joked about. Anybody who is in any kind of position of power deserves to have a joke about them, and if they can't laugh at themselves that means something."

 

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