Roseanne Barr now says her vote for President Donald Trump caused ABC to fire her and cancel the revival of her sitcom, Roseanne. Barr lost her show after she tweeted a racist comment about Valerie Jarrett, a former senior advisor in the Obama administration, and it gained widespread attention on Twitter.
Barr later claimed that she had written the racist tweet while under the influence of the sleep aid Ambien. This did not convince ABC to rehire her. Hers was one of several recent high-profile firings based on social media posts. Disney - which also owns ABC - severed ties with Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn after some old Twitter posts resurfaced last week. But unlike Barr's questionable statement, Gunn had written his almost a decade ago. The Roseanne actress has spent the time since her firing protesting her innocence.
In a new video released by Barr, the actress offers a new official statement about the incident, her firing and the subsequent cancellation of Roseanne. Barr's statement, which comes from her own studio rather than in a formal setting including the press, offers a couple more explanations for her firing, neither of which, she claims, are her fault. She starts the minute-long video recounting the meeting she had with ABC after she first posted the tweet. According to Barr, the controversy was a misunderstanding because she had written it believing that Jarrett was white. But at the end, she shares another possibility. "The answer is simple," she says. "It's because I voted for Donald Trump. And that is not allowed in Hollywood."
This is not Barr's first meeting with controversy. In 2009, she appeared in a photoshoot dressed up as Nazi leader Adolph Hitler for the satirical magazine Heeb. The pictures show her pulling a tray of person-shaped cookies from an oven. These images came back to the forefront alongside the Roseanne revival. But producer Bruce Helford urged viewers to judge the show on its own merits instead of in light of its outspoken star.
Barr has never hidden how she voted during the 2016 Presidential election. And ABC was surely aware of this when the network greenlit the new episodes of Roseanne. It had even ordered a second season before the controversy. And rather than fully cancel Roseanne, ABC will create a spinoff show, The Connors, which will include the entire cast of the revival minus its star.