Roseanne Barr to Sean Hannity About Racist Tweet: 'It Cost Me Everything'

In an hour-long interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, Roseanne Barr said the racist tweet that led ABC to fire her "cost me everything," and insisted her words were misconstrued by the media.

"I made a mistake, obviously. It cost me everything. My life's work, everything. I made a mistake and I paid the price for it," Barr told Hannity.

Barr's interview with Hannity was her first since ABC cancelled Roseanne hours after she tweeted about Valerie Jarrett, a former aide for President Barack Obama. In the tweet that led to her firing, Barr compared Jarrett to the offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes characters.

Although it was looked upon by many as a racist tweet, Barr insisted otherwise, calling it "political."

"The first thing was shock that they were saying it was racial when it's political," she said of the reaction to the tweet. "That was a hard one to take. And then everyone started saying I was a racist, which is like the worst thing you can call a Jewish person, especially someone like me, who grew up with Holocaust survivors. And because of that fact, I took a vow to my religion to my god that I would always fight extremism on either side, right or left."

Barr told Hannity she felt she was "fighting the right by being really left," referring to her 2012 run for the presidency as a socialist candidate. "Then I slowly woke up and both extremes are not where my values are. My values are in the middle," she said.

Barr said she did not know Jarrett was African-American. She believed Jarrett was Iranian, after learning that Jarrett was born there and spent part of her childhood there.

The media coverage of the tweet "broke my heart," Barr said, because she has African-American family members. She also felt people were ignoring her previous work.

"I'm like, 'Why can they not see my work.' And then I got really messed up thinking, in this world, it seems more that words matter more than reactions, but in the real life world, actions matter more than words," Barr said. "In my actions over 30 years as an artist and a comedian, I've always been against the abuse of power towards all marginalized groups. But now I feel like both the left and the right have marginalized the middle and it's just too crazy."

ABC fired Barr in late May for the Jarrett tweet. Less than a month later, ABC announced a Roseanne spin-off called The Conners, which would feature the rest of the cast without Barr. Barr said she agreed to leave the series without putting up a fuss as "repentance."

"I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from Roseanne. I agreed to the settlement in order that 200 jobs of beloved cast and crew could be saved, and I wish the best for everyone involved," Barr said in a June statement after the new show was picked up.


The Conners will premiere Wednesday, Oct. 16 on ABC.

Photo credit: ABC