Roseanne Barr has been in damage-control mode ever since ABC cancelled her show after she sent out a tweet comparing Valerie Jarrett, a former adviser to president Barack Obama, to an ape.
Her first mea culpa came in an interview with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach last week in which she wept and said, “I’m not a racist. I’m an idiot.”
“I’m a lot of things, a loudmouth and all that stuff,” a sobbing Barr said. “But I’m not stupid, for God’s sake. I never would have wittingly called any Black person … a monkey.”
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Boteach has now released a second interview with Barr. The two mostly discuss the Torah, but in the almost 80-minute conversation, she also talks about ABC’s Barr-free Roseanne spinoff, The Conners, and her own potential return to television.
Barr clarified that she didn’t ask for compensation for the recently announced series.
“I didn’t ask to be paid off,” she said. “I asked for nothing, and I just stepped away … because that is penance. I put a lot of thought into it.”
“I thought signing off of my own life’s work and asking for nothing in return, I thought that was a penance,” she added. “Sometimes you ask people what do you think should be done to you knowing what you’ve done wrong, and it seems that people always know what should be done to them. I just knew that was the right thing, and I want to do the right thing because I’ve lived my life, most part of it, to do the right thing for all people, not just Jews.”
She said that she didn’t want to hurt those she worked with, particularly Jayden Rey, the 9-year-old Black actress who portrayed her character’s granddaughter in the Roseanne reboot.
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“I was very upset about hurting things that I care about and hurting people that I care about,” she said. “Specifically, the little girl who played my granddaughter. She is African-American, and she loved me and I loved her.”
“I did not want her, I did not want her to not have a job because she’s great. I did not want her to think badly of Jewish people, and me specifically,” she added. “I wanted Jayden, specifically, to have her job. Because I love her. I did not what her to suffer because of me.”
Barr also said that she might be returning to television — though she didn’t offer many details.
“Inside every bad thing is a good thing waiting to happen, and I feel very excited because I’ve already been offered so many things, and I almost already accepted one really good offer to go back on TV, and I might do it,” she said. “But we’ll see.”
Finally, she reiterated that she wants to call Jarrett to apologize, but she doesn’t yet have “the right words” — and that she’s “still praying for the right words.”
“The right words, to me, don’t really exist in the lexicon,” she added.