Roseanne Barr: ‘They hate me because I have talent, because I have an opinion’

A comedy genius? Roseanne Barr has to be one of the names that comes to mind.

Barr was the central figure in Roseanne, the American television sitcom created by Matt Williams which aired on ABC from October 18, 1988, to May 20, 1997. The show reached huge success and people seemed to have missed the life of the Conner family who lived in the fictional town of Lanford, Illinois, so the story about the working-class American family millions of people fell for got renewed from March 27, 2018, to May 22, 2018.

The reason ABC decided to reverse the decision of the show’s renewal and canceled Roseanne after initially announcing they would release an 11th season of 13 episodes were Barr’s comments about former Obama administration official Valerie Jarrett.

In a tweet, Barr compared Jarrett to the “Planet of the Apes” movies. Amid fierce backlash, the actress claimed she didn’t know Valerie was Black and said she was on Ambien at the time, therefore not thinking clearly.

Barr’s series of racist and Islamophobic comments on Twitter were described by the network’s president as “abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values.”

On June 21, 2018, ABC announced plans to re-tool the show as a spin-off continuation involving the Conner family without Roseanne, titled The Conners. The show is still on air.

Speaking of the decision to write her character off, Barr said of the network, “Oh my God, they just hated me so badly. I had never known that they hated me like that.

“They hate me because I have talent, because I have an opinion. Even though ‘Roseanne’ became their number one show, they’d rather not have a number one show.”

Barr accused ABC of denying her a chance to apologize for her comments.

“I’m the only person who’s lost everything, whose life’s work was stolen, stolen by people who I thought loved me. And there was silence,” she told the Times. “There was no one in Hollywood really defending me publicly, except for Mo’nique, who is a brave, close, dear friend.”

She further said that her colleagues, Dave Chappelle and Louis C.K weren’t given the same harsh treatment she received. Back in 2017, Louis admitted to performing sexual acts in front of female colleagues while Dave faced backlash for making transphobic jokes in a Netflix special. Both comedians won Grammys following the incidents in question.

“They didn’t do it to anyone else in Hollywood, although they always throw in Dave Chappelle and Louis C.K. Well, Louis C.K. did lose everything, but he committed an actual [offense],” Barr said.

Almost six years after Roseanne was canceled, the actress told Los Angeles Times, “I’ve survived. I’ve come out on the other side of it, finally. But it was a witch-burning. And it was terrifying. It was.”

She has also lost contact with a number of colleagues and co-workers.

“I can’t know what they think or feel. I don’t know why they did what they did. I’m not like them. I realized that. I can’t believe what they did, with all the pain that I went through to bring the show back. And it didn’t faze them to murder my character, either,” she shared.

But Barr says she’s not bitter. This year, she’s returning on TV with a new comedy special for Fox Nation. In a preview of the special, she asks the crowd, “Has anyone else here been fired recently?”

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