Over the weekend, a new interview conducted with Roseanne Barr was aired on her friend Rabbi Shmuley’s podcast. It comes on the heels of the news that ABC has given the spinoff of Roseanne the official go-ahead, minus the controversial titular star.
The Roseanne producers are now attempting to restart one of the network’s biggest hits from last season without its lead star, and many wonder if they can pull it off without her.
Barr landed in hot water after tweeting out a racist missive about President Obama’s former aide Valerie Jarrett, and ABC canceled the show amid the epic blow-back she and the network received in the aftermath, including from members of its own cast and crew.
The spinoff will be titled The Connors and will debut this fall. The cast, crew and writers will be virtually identical, according to reports. The most significant other absence will be Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer who left the show in protest at Barr’s tweet.
JUDD APATOW SPEAKS OUT
Judd Apatow and Barr have worked together for more than two decades. The movie mogul was hired by Barr in the 90’s to produce and write a comedy special.
While they haven’t been in touch recently, and Barr has blocked him on Twitter, he told Vanity Fairthat he simply doesn’t recognize the woman he knew in her current public persona.
Apatow said: “I think you have a person who’s in a moment of success and maybe that’s uncomfortable for her, and whatever urges she has to be rebellious have overtaken her in some way. I haven’t spoken to her recently to know where her head’s at generally, but I see it more as someone who’s crying out for help than someone who’s a hateful person.”
He continued: “I hope she’s okay and I feel bad for people who got hurt in that. Everyone who worked with her, it’s tragic.”
BARR BREAKS DOWN IN TEARS IN INTERVIEW
In a podcast interview conducted right after the scandal broke, but not released until Sunday, she repeatedly said her words had been misconstrued.
“When you hurt people, even unwittingly, there’s no excuse,” she said. “I apologize to anyone who thought that, or felt offended, and who thought that I meant something that I in fact did not mean.”
“I definitely feel remorse,” Barr, 65, told Rabbi Shmuley, crying. “I’m a lot of things, I’m a loudmouth and all that stuff, but I’m not stupid for god’s sake, and I never would have wittingly called any black person a monkey. I would never do that and I didn’t do that. And that people think that I did that, it just kills me.”
She added that it was her commitment to her religion that caused her to speak out.
“Valerie Jarrett, I don’t agree with her politics. And I thought she was white, I did not know she was a black woman,” Barr said. “I kind of think of her as somebody who is trying to subvert freedom for me. I am not defending myself… I was talking about her and the Obama administration and the things that they did that I feel are anti-Jew and I have to.”
- One of the main concerns the network had before greenlighting The Connors was concern over Barr’s contract with the network, which called for her to be consulted and financially compensated on any spinoffs. She agreed to a settlement with the network in exchange for her creative input.
- The Connors has been given a 10-episode order instead of the 13 episodes set to be picked up for the second season of Roseanne.
- Sara Gilbert, John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf will anchor the cast.
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