Roseanne Barr’s son is defending his mother’s controversial Twitter statement about former Barack Obama aide Valeria Jarrett.
Roseanne Barr has faced a wave of backlash following her racially insensitive tweet about former Barack Obama aide Valeria Jarrett, in which she stated “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=[Valerie Jarrett]," but her son, Jake Pentland, is taking his mother’s side and calling the statements a “joke.”
“’Her and her dad! I thought they were white!’” Petland told The Blast his mother texted him, adding that Barr would never intentionally “call a black woman an ape.”
Barr later followed that tweet with “Muslims r NOT a race” and “ISLAM is not a RACE, lefties. Islam includes EVERY RACE of people."
Jarrett, who worked as the Director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs in the Obama administration from 2009-2017, was born to American parents in Shiraz, Iran. She is African-American with no ties to the Sunni Muslim organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood.
Barr’s tweets, which were quickly dubbed as racially insensitive, led to backlash from not only Roseanne fans on Twitter, but also her co-workers, with Roseanne consulting producer Wanda Sykes announcing that she would not be returning for the show’s second season, presumably as a result of Barr’s statement.
Hours later, ABC announced that it had canceled the popular sitcom.
“Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show," Channing Dungey, Preisdent of ABC Entertainment, said in a statement.
The alphabet network later suspended its 2018 Emmy campaign for the series and wiped the sitcom, a revival of the ‘80s and ‘90s sitcom, from its press site.
Although Barr later returned to Twitter to apologize, blaming late night “Ambien tweeting” for her statements and stating that her tweets were “egregious” and “indefensible,” her talent agency, ICM Partners, chose to quit representing her, and MGM National Harbor canceled her lone stand-up performance for 2018.
Pentland said that he does not blame anyone for being upset, nor does he blame the backlash that has resulted, including the series’ cancellation. However, he stated that he wished somebody would have defended his mother on the racism accusations.
For now, Pentland claimed that his mother is trying to lay low after the controversy. He also stated that Barr is hoping that her legacy as a stand-up comedian and an actor will not be defined by her statements on Tuesday.