(JTA) — Actress Roseanne Barr became emotional and expressed regret for her tweet against a former Obama administration official during a podcast interview with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.
The interview had taken place two days after ABC canceled her popular show, a reboot of her late 1980s sitcom, over the tweet mocking Valerie Jarrett, a former adviser to President Barack Obama and an African-American. The tweet said the “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” The actress later deleted the tweet and issued an apology, saying she had made “a bad joke about her politics and her looks.”
Boteach did not release the podcast at the time, saying “I want to give her space to reflect on the recent events and releasing the recording is a decision she will make at the appropriate time.”
He released the podcast early Sunday morning, a day after ABC rehired most of the cast of the rebooted show with reported plans to launch a new show, “The Connors,” about the popular working class family but without the original show’s namesake.
During the podcast, Boteach traced his 20-year relationship with Barr, who is Jewish, and noted that she “loves the Torah.”
Barr broke down crying during part of the interview, telling Boteach: “I’m a lot of things, a loud mouth and all that stuff. But I’m not stupid, for God’s sake. I never would have wittingly call any black person and say they are a monkey. I just wouldn’t do that. I didn’t do that. And people think that I did that and it just kills me. I didn’t do that. And if they do think that, I’m just so sorry that I was so unclear and stupid. I’m very sorry. But I don’t think that and I would never do that. I have loved ones who are African-American, and I just can’t stand it. I’ve made a huge error and I told ABC when they called me.”
Barr said she thought Valerie Jarrett was a white woman when she made her comments.
“Of course, no I don’t excuse it. I horribly regret it. Are you kidding? I lost everything, and I regretted it before I lost everything. And I said to God, ‘I am willing to accept whatever consequences this brings because I know I’ve done wrong.’ I’m going to accept what the consequences are, and I do, and I have. But they don’t ever stop. They don’t accept my apology or explanation. And I’ve made myself a hate magnet. And as a Jew, it’s just horrible. It’s horrible.”
Barr noted during the interview that ABC had asked her to “get off Twitter” when they hired her for the reboot but that she told the network: “I have to tell you right now before we sign any papers that I will never stop defending Israel and the Jewish people. I cannot, if I were to do that, I would rather be dead, I can’t do that. So if you want to hire me, know that. I will never stop.”
Barr tweeted two weeks after the original Jarrett tweet that it was not meant to be racist, but rather was critical of anti-Semitism and the Iran deal.
“Rod Serling wrote Planet of The Apes. It 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 tweeted.