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Roseanne Says She Is the Only Canceled Person "Who's Lost Everything"

The comedian opened up about life after Roseanne in a new interview.

In March 2018, Roseanne came back for its 10th season after 21 years off the air. That turned out to be its last. Two months later, the series was canceled, again, after star and series creator Roseanne Barr posted a tweet about Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to Barack Obama, that was widely viewed as racist. (Barr denied any racist intent.) Rather than disappear entirely, Roseanne morphed into The Conners, with Barr's character killed off off-screen. Now, the embattled comedian is back in the public eye with a new documentary and a standup special. According to Barr, she's the only canceled person "who's lost everything."

The comedian opened up about the aftermath of being canceled in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times. Read on to find out what she had to say.

READ THIS NEXT: 6 "Canceled" Celebrities Who Were Never Heard From Again.

Roseanne was canceled after Barr's tweet.

"Roseanne" cast members at the premiere in 2018
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

In May 2018, Barr tweeted, "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = VJ" in reference to Jarrett, who is Black. The following day, ABC canceled Roseanne, which had premiered only two months earlier and had already been renewed for an 11th season.

Channing Dungey, then the president of ABC Entertainment, said in a statement (via People), "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show."

The show continued on as The Conners and Barr's character was killed off.

Barr claimed the tweet wasn't racist.

Roseanne Barr participates in "Is America a Forgiving Nation?" in 2018
Rachel Luna/Getty Images

Barr has given multiple defenses for her tweet. The day after the tweet was posted, she tweeted amid backlash, "I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me—my joke was in bad taste."

Soon after, she said that what she said was "unforgivable" and said that she was on Ambien when she posted the tweet.

She also said that she did not know Jarrett was Black. "i thought she was saudi," she wrote in one tweet. "i honestly thought she was Jewish and Persian-ignorant of me for sure, but…i did," read another. A third said, "yes, I mistakenly though she was white."

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She says she "lost everything".

Roseanne Barr at the Jerusalem Post Conference in 2018
lev radin / Shutterstock

In the new interview with the Los Angeles Times, Barr called what happened to her a "witch-burning." The 70-year-old actor explained, "I felt like the devil himself was coming against me to try to tear me apart, to punish me for believing in God."

Barr went on to compare herself to other comedians, who have faced backlash, including Dave Chappelle and Louis C.K. When it came to C.K., she admitted, "Well, Louis C.K. did lose everything, but he committed an actual [offense]."

She added, "I'm the only person who's lost everything, whose life's work was stolen, stolen by people who I thought loved me. And there was silence. There was no one in Hollywood really defending me publicly, except for Mo'nique, who is a brave, close, dear friend."

Barr is still working.


Barr was interviewed ahead of her new standup comedy special, Roseanne Barr: Cancel This!, which premiered on Fox Nation on Feb. 13. A documentary about her career, Who Is Roseanne Barr?, also debuted on the streaming service the same day.

In the years since her apparent cancellation, she's been performing her standup routine at various comedy clubs. "I'm so happy that this is the most offensive in my stand-up that I've ever had the balls to be," she told the Los Angeles Times.

The standup special has already been called out for offensive jokes about transgender people. The Los Angeles Times notes that Barr also refers to the "baby blood-drinking Democrat committee."

"I already want to do another special," Barr added. "I want to go further in depth than the first one. Once I started back writing comedy, I couldn't stop it. I wrote about four hours of material. Now I've got so much material it's hard to carve down. I want to talk about what it's like to work in the creative arts in Hollywood, how crazy it is."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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