• Roseanne Barr on career-damaging racist tweet: 'It was about anti-semitism'

    By: USA Today

    Updated:

    The more Roseanne Barr "reflects" on her career-cratering racist tweet last month, the more confused she seems to get, at least according to her Twitter feed.

    Barr has offered multiple muddled meanings for her tweet comparing ex-Obama administration figure Valerie Jarrett to an ape – it was the Ambien talking, she was clueless about Jarrett's race – but now she has a new one: It was about "anti-semitism," she claimed in tweets late Wednesday.

    The fallen star of the hugely successful "Roseanne" reboot, canceled in the wake of the outrage her Jarrett tweet caused, also tweeted that she is "fine," she's "seeing clearly now" and she's been reflecting on what she said and how it was "misunderstood" by "low-IQ people."

    And by the way, she's coming back: "I will begin to speak for myself in media soon," one of her tweets concluded. 

    Barr has been speaking for herself all along via Twitter; that's what got her into trouble in the first place, when she tweeted this: If the “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”

    ABC immediately fired her and canceled her show, throwing hundreds out of work. Plans to revive it without Barr are still up in the air. 

    More: Roseanne returns to Twitter after cancellation; blames Ambien for racist tweet

    More:  Could 'Roseanne' resurface, without Roseanne?

    Meanwhile, Barr apologized abjectly but kept tweeting, trying to explain what she meant. She claimed she didn't know that Jarrett is black. She claimed she was clueless about the racist implications of her tweet, even though comparing a black person to an ape has been a racist trope for centuries. The reference to Muslim Brotherhood was confusing because Jarrett isn't a Muslim.  

    Now her new explanation is unclear. She started out confiding to her followers that she's been watching a new documentary about civil-rights leader Malcolm X directed by a friend, Thomas Muhammad. 

    "Thomas Muhammad has agreed to speak for me, as he knows the work I have done in civil rights against racism ALL MY LIFE & understands my tweet was about Iran's regime," she tweeted. 

    It wasn't clear what the Iran regime has to do with Jarrett, who is an American. She was born in Iran in 1956 because her father was working there but she was not President Barack Obama's adviser on Iran and didn't have a role in the controversial Iran nuclear deal. Moreover, Barr originally claimed she thought Jarrett was a "Saudi."

    Barr did not stop to explain any of this on Wednesday. "I want u all2 know I'm fine. I've been using this time2 reflect &2 gain insight on what I said & how it was misunderstood.. Needless2 say I'm NOT what people have accused me of! I’ve never practiced "RACISM" in my entire life & never will," she declared in one tweet. 

    Then she brought up Rod Serling, the author of "Planet of The Apes." That movie, she said, was about anti-Semitism. "That is what my tweet referred to - the anti semitism of the Iran deal. Low IQ ppl can think whatever they want," she said.

    Except most film historians say the 1968 sci-fi film "Planet of the Apes" is a metaphor for racism, depicting an imagined world where apes have absolute power and apply it corruptly against humans, giving them a taste of what African-Americans experienced in 1960s America.  

    But Barr didn't mention any of that. Instead, she said, she's feeling better since her humiliating fall. "guys, I have been planting trees digging in the earth singing and feeling a great deal of relief. I will begin to speak for myself in media soon," she tweeted. 

    She also said she's developed "a bit of palsy in my head and hands due to the stress" of the last weeks. 

    "I sleep alot now - without ambien too, thank G0D!! goodnight-we are winning! don't give up! PEACE is coming!," she tweeted. 

    Barr extended her tweetstorm into Friday, retweeting a series of Iran-related tweets before sharing her own take.

    "@POTUS bring peace and human rights to #Iran next?" she wrote, tagging President Trump's official White House account. "PRAY FOR THE PPL OF #IRAN AND LISTEN TO THEM!" she added in another post on the social media site.

    After replying to a Twitter thread asking "what needs to happen to free people from oppression" in Iran, she shared a link from a far-right blog about President Trump, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and Iran.

    In between her Iran tweets, Barr continued her supposed truth-telling mission about "Planet of the Apes," sharing articles claiming to tell the truth about the movie.

    "The movie 'Planet of The Apes' (my favorite movie) has a great subtext that is an accurate representation of class-race-religion intersections & juxtapositions," she wrote Friday morning.

    As she explained in an additional tweet, Barr's days-long Twitter spree is just her attempt to expand the public's understanding of issues that matter to her.

    "An informed organized public is the goal," she wrote.

    More: 'Roseanne' is TV season's biggest winner and loser; here's the rest

    More: Why Channing Dungey canceling 'Roseanne' shows the importance of diversity in Hollywood

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