Actress and professional troll Roseanne Barr attacked former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett with a racist tweet early Tuesday morning, comparing Jarrett to an ape.
In response to an article tweeted by a conspiracy theory website, Barr wrote, "muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj."
Later in the morning, she posted an apology, writing, "I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me-my joke was in bad taste." Minutes before that, she announced that she is leaving Twitter. (Her Twitter account is still active.)
While other outlets glossed over the blatant racism of her tweet by calling it "racially charged" or emphasising that she apologised in their headlines — our favourite: "waded into racial waters" — we're calling it what it is. Racist. No amount of apologising will erase the fact that Barr compared a Black woman to an ape. Not to mention that Jarrett has nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood, a statement that is part of yet another conspiracy theory Roseanne is peddling.
Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer on Barr's self-titled show on ABC, has announced that she's leaving.
This is far from the first time Barr has posted something racist and inflammatory. Her entire feed is the stuff of MAGA-charged, conspiracy-fuelled trolls you normally block — the only difference is that she's verified and has almost 650,000 followers. An hour before her "apology," she was calling George Soros a Nazi (another conspiracy theory proven false) and harassing Chelsea Clinton.
It wasn’t the first time Barr compared a Black woman to an ape, either. Before deleting her tweet, in 2013 she called President Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice "a man with big swinging ape balls."
Because Roseanne's revival has so far enjoyed popularity, the network has stayed silent when it comes to Barr's racist antics.
Her show has been praised for giving voice to the "silent majority," for discussing everything from immigration to gender fluidity in the language spoken by the blue-collar Americans it portrays, and for getting real about how families disagree about politics. President Trump has even personally called Barr to congratulate her on the show's success.
"I just wanted to have that dialogue about families torn apart by the election and their political differences of opinion and how we handle it," Barr told the New York Times in March. "I thought that this was an important thing to say at this time."
Her ignorant public statements are discrediting any goodwill she has built up with the show, and making many wonder whether it's wise to give her such a public platform. People are calling for the show's cancellation, though the network seems to be looking the other way for now.
"ABC execs hold their noses when Roseanne tweets," reported CNN's Brian Stelter. "They know it's problematic. They want her to focus on the show. But they say there's no controlling Roseanne."
Whether or not ABC decides to cancel her show, we have a bit of advice for Barr: Delete your account.
We reached out to ABC and will update this story when we hear back.