Roseanne Barr rebuked by drug company after blaming Ambien for racist tweet

Roseanne Barr rebuked by drug company after blaming Ambien for racist tweet

American comedian Roseanne Barr says she’s tired of “being attacked and belittled,” and blames sleep aid Ambien for her tweet that compared a black former Obama administration official to an ape, a racist remark that sparked outrage and the cancellation of her TV show.

Barr said in a series of tweets on Tuesday and early on Wednesday that what she did was “unforgiveable.” She had posted on Twitter that if the Islamist political movement “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj,” referring to Valerie Jarrett, a former aide to onetime President Barack Obama.

“It was 2 in the morning and I was Ambien tweeting — it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended — it was egregious Indefensible,” she wrote. “I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but … don’t defend it please.”

Sanofis, based in France, is the maker of Ambien. The U.S. division of the company sent out a tweet Wednesday stating that “while all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”

In other tweets, Barr said that she was tired of “being attacked and belittled more than other comedians who have said worse,” and asked for people not to boycott ABC, saying the network has the right to “do what they wish.”

She also reposted tweets by many supporters, including one message that strongly criticized ABC executive Channing Dungey.

Walt Disney Co’s ABC network on Tuesday cancelled her Roseanne reboot.

‘A bad joke’

Barr, 65, then apologized “for making a bad joke” about Jarrett, who is black and was born in Iran to American parents.

“Don’t feel sorry for me, guys!!,” Barr said in a tweet late on Tuesday. “I just want to apologize to the hundreds of people, and wonderful writers (all liberal) and talented actors who lost their jobs on my show due to my stupid tweet.”

Jarrett, 61, said on Tuesday that Disney chief executive Bob Iger called her before ABC announced the show’s cancellation.

Donald Trump, who just weeks ago took to Twitter to congratulate Barr on the reboot’s ratings, seized up on Iger’s call with a complaint of ABC’s “horrible” coverage of his presidency.

Hollywood talent agency ICM said in a statement on Tuesday it will no longer represent Barr. Several networks said it was removing reruns of her show. Hulu said episodes of the new show would no longer be available on its streaming service.

The original Roseanne ran from 1988 to 1997, and featured a blue-collar family, the Conners, with overweight parents struggling to get by. It was praised for its realistic portrayal of working-class life.

The current Roseanne was ABC’s biggest hit of the 2017–2018 season, drawing an average 18.7 million viewers, second only to CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, according to Nielsen data through May 20.

Published at Wed, 30 May 2018 09:31:54 -0400