Valerie Jarrett calls Roseanne Barr's racist tweet a 'teaching moment'

Former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett called actress Roseanne Barr’s racist comments about her a “teaching moment” during MSNBC’s “Everyday Racism in America” town hall on Tuesday. 

Earlier in the day, Barr wrote on Twitter, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” in reference to Jarrett, who is black and was born in Iran to American parents. Barr apologized and deleted the tweet on Tuesday. 

At the event, hosted by Joy Reid and Chris Hayes, Jarrett addressed the post. “First of all, I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment. I’m fine. I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and followers coming to their defense,” she said, according to a clip released by MSNBC.  

Hours after a backlash against Barr’s comment began, ABC President Channing Dungey called Barr’s tweet “repugnant” and announced that the network was canceling the hit revival of her sitcom. Jarrett said that Bob Iger, the CEO of ABC’s parent corporation, the Walt Disney Co., reached out to let her know about the cancellation of “Roseanne.” 

“He wanted me to know before he made it public that he was canceling the show,” Jarrett said, according to NBC News

She called that decision the right move. Many were surprised by the decision to cancel the “Roseanne” revival, given that Barr has made problematic comments for years without consequence. 

13 PHOTOS
Stars react to 'Roseanne' show cancellation
See Gallery
Stars react to 'Roseanne' show cancellation
Here here!! Take stands against racism, hatred, and revolting displays of bigotry. No room for any of that shit her… https://t.co/wTQSFwddWU
Thank you Channing Dungey! https://t.co/VIlKTF9y7Z
Thank you, @ABCNetwork for doing the right thing and for showing people that bigotry and racism has consequences. N… https://t.co/9BWKIyKsmc
So proud of @ABCNetwork for having the ethical compunction to cancel #Rosanne despite the show’s huge numbers. We t… https://t.co/WLJD2AmM1I
Wow. https://t.co/JNJvcsFbST
I am repulsed that Valerie Jarret had that racist and bigoted "joke" made at her expense and I am sickened that any… https://t.co/UmeJ0a1sBB
But honestly she got what she deserved. As I tell my 4 year old, one makes a choice with one’s actions. Roseanne… https://t.co/os90iHKQn9
I'm glad Roseanne is canceled. The backlash to its cancellation is going to be a deafening nightmare. Nothing go… https://t.co/CEFBBzkckm
Thank you @iamwandasykes . She is a fascist. What she said about @ValerieJarrett is unconscionable. https://t.co/B6ewu9AVGu
Has Fox picked up “Roseanne” yet?
As for Trump: Is Roseanne useful to him anymore? That, not pique, is likely to drive whether he hugs the issue. I s… https://t.co/Sx7hKoEnp5
Yes you did. #FireRoseanne https://t.co/YcxKUJxscA
Roseanne was making boatloads of $ for @DisneyABCTV. For them to cancel it because of Roseanne’s racist, xenophobic… https://t.co/qe72yl0puq
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Barr’s co-stars and collaborators publicly denounced her tweet, and talent agency ICM Partners dropped her as a client, a spokesman for the company confirmed for HuffPost on Tuesday.

“We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning,” ICM Partners wrote in a note to employees. “What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency. Consequently, we have notified her that we will not represent her. Effective immediately, Roseanne Barr is no longer a client.”

Jarrett also referred to President Donald Trump during the town hall, saying, “Tone does start at the top.”

“We like to look up to our president and feel as though he reflects the values of our country, but I also think every individual citizen has a responsibility to,” she said during the MSNBC event. “And it’s up to all of us to push back.” 

Jarrett’s full comments will be aired during MSNBC’s “Everday Racism in America” town hall at 9 p.m. Tuesday. 

24 PHOTOS
Roseanne Barr through the years
See Gallery
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)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
Read Full Story