Roseanne Barr shared a poem about her own controversies and struggles on Twitter, apparently written by a friend. The comedian posted a photo of herself on stage under powerful spotlights, with the text of the poem imposed over her head. It praised her for persevering through her media circus last year when she was fired from ABC for a racist tweet.
The post showed Barr on stage in a simple black shirt with her arms outstretched to each side. A microphone stood not far away, implying that she was delivering a speech or perhaps a stand-up routine. She wore her signature sly smile. According to Barr, the accompanying poem was written by Ran Myob.
"Between losing her voice or her life," it read. "Like a poet in exile, weaponizing symbols to castigate or mollify. A recluse, banished once she steps into the light. Pushed away by emperors she long fought with strife. A familiar story of oppression in every corner of the world, of artists who pay a mighty price."
my friend Ran Myob made this for me ♥️ pic.twitter.com/qWrxSyqQf6— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) July 11, 2019
"'Be quiet, make a choice,'" the poem went on. "'Shut up, enough, Choose.' Your ancestors' dread your labor of love and pain. Roseanne's choice, was always Tikkun olam."
The final line, "Tikkun olam," is a Hebrew phrase and a complex concept from Judaism. Simply put, it expresses hope of overcoming all forms of idolatry. It is interpreted differently across different sects of the religion, but is especially prominent in Orthodox Judaism.
Barr turned to her faith for solace last year when she was fired from her show, Roseanne. Although the reboot was series was doing incredibly well by network standards, it was plagued by Barr's own political and conspiratorial rhetoric off screen. The actress added fuel to the fire of numerous controversial conspiracies, including QAnon and Pizzagate.
Finally, ABC cut ties with Barr following one particularly inflammatory tweet about Obama administration adviser Valerie Jarrett. Barr referred to the African-American politician as an "ape" and was promptly let go.
In the aftermath, Barr's main platform for output has become her YouTube channel, which now boasts over 155,000 subscribers. There, she posts all manner of clips, including many short segments of herself simply talking to the camera about what is on her mind.
That often comes back to Judaism, as religion occupies much of Barr's thoughts. Late last year, she uploaded one episode of a long-form talk show-style video called "News For Jews," in which she and her Rabbi talked about the finer points of piety for over an hour. So far, episode 2 is nowhere in sight.