Entertainment

Roseanne Barr on racist tweet: 'I wish I worded it better'

In Roseanne Barr's first TV interview since her ABC sitcom was cancelled for a racist tweet, the comedian apologized for her "ill-worded" post and insisted she isn't a racist.

Barr laments damage done by comments about Valerie Jarrett, one of a controversial series of tweets

Roseanne Barr takes part in a special event and podcast taping at Stand Up NY on Thursday. She gave a lengthy interview to Sean Hannity of Fox News, her first television interview since she was fired from her ABC show. (Craig Ruttle/Associated Press)

In Roseanne Barr's first TV interview since her ABC sitcom was cancelled for a racist tweet, the comedian apologized for her "ill-worded" post and insisted she isn't a racist.

During her hour-long interview on Sean Hannity's Fox News Channel show Thursday, Barr lamented the damage done to her by her tweet about Valerie Jarrett, a former adviser to U.S. president Barack Obama.

"It cost me everything," Barr said. "I wish I worded it better."

Hannity repeatedly urged Barr to apologize to Jarrett on air. The comedian eventually did, saying that she was sorry for the poorly worded tweet. She said she would tell Jarrett, "I'm sorry that you feel harm and hurt, I never meant that. I never meant to hurt anybody."

'I am a creative genius, and this is not a good feeling'

She repeated her assertion that she did not know Jarrett was black when she likened Jarrett to a cross between the Muslim Brotherhood and a Planet of the Apes actor.

Barr repeatedly said Thursday that her tweet was meant to address U.S.-Middle Eastern policy and had no racial overtones. She said she was stunned by the negative reaction to the tweet, which Hannity noted was nearly universal.

Barr talks with Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity while being interviewed during a taping of his show on Thursday. Barr told him she is not racist, and neither are U.S. President Donald Trump and his supporters. (Julie Jacobson/Associated Press)

"I am a creative genius, and this is not a good feeling for an artist to be treated this way, and it's not a good feeling for a citizen, either."

Despite apologizing at times, Barr also said she felt the tweet was being mischaracterized and she indicated she felt like she had apologized enough for her actions.

'I'm not a racist'

"I feel like I have apologized and explained and asked for forgiveness and made recompense," she said early in the interview. At another point, just before addressing Jarrett directly, Barr said, "I already have said I'm sorry for two months."

Barr, a supporter of President Donald Trump, brought him briefly into the conversation.

"I'm not a racist and the people who voted for Trump, they're not racist either, and Trump isn't a racist, sorry. We just have a different opinion," she said.

She said she could have fought ABC over her firing, but that she walked away from her hit reboot because she didn't want anybody to lose their jobs. She said her contract was supposed to allow her to correct any misstatements she made within 24 hours, but she wasn't given the opportunity.

The new version of Roseanne was an instant smash for ABC, owned by the Walt Disney Co., and was counted on to lead the network's fortunes next season.

Its debut episode last March was seen by more than 25 million people with delayed viewing counted in, numbers that are increasingly rare in network television.

The Jarrett comment was part of a series of controversial, politically charged tweets made over a span of several hours by Barr on May 27-28.

She criticized Democratic financier George Soros and tweeted that Chelsea Clinton was "Chelsea Soros Clinton," implying she was married to a nephew of Soros. Clinton herself corrected Barr online.

Barr called Soros "a Nazi who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered in German concentration camps," which the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., retweeted.

In a statement, Soros's spokesperson said "the false allegations are insulting to the victims of the Holocaust, to all Jewish people and to anyone who honours the truth," pointing out that Soros was a boy living under a false identity in Nazi-occupied Hungary during the Second World War.

ABC has announced that it would produce a Roseanne spinoff called The Conners that features John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf and Sara Gilbert.

With files from CBC News

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