Roseanne just blamed Ambien and Memorial Day for her racist “ape” tweet

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This morning, Roseanne Barr once again found herself embroiled in self-inflicted controversy when she took to Twitter to compare Valerie Jarrett, the black senior adviser to former President Barack Obama, to an ape.

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The backlash was swift and severe, culminating into an announcement by ABC’s president Channing Dungey that the network decided to cancel the show.

“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” Dungey said.

Roseanne, having seemingly learned her lesson, tweeted earlier today that she would be “leaving Twitter.”

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Hardly 12 hours later, she was back on the social media platform, attempting to convince her followers that her tweet was an isolated incident and that she isn’t truly a racist. Apparently, her likening a black woman to an ape was merely an isolated, racist mental break that does not reflect whatsoever on the person who actually spoke the words.

But the kicker was her excuse: Ambien – a sleep aid – and Memorial Day.

She does “not want it defended,” she explained, in the very same breath that she attempted to defend herself by claiming that she had taken the sleep aid and, apparently, drank too much while celebrating Memorial Day.

Roseanne was not the only one claiming that her tweets were indefensible. Sara Gilbert, who plays the role of “Darlene” on the show, took to Twitter to express her dismay with the show’s lead actor and her vile comment.

While Gilbert’s remarks may be well-intended, Roseanne is not simply “one cast member,” but the eponymous star around which the entire show revolves. When Roseanne speaks, it is reflective of all those involved in the production– for better or for worse.

Comedian Wanda Sykes, a writer with the official title “consulting producer,” also announced on Twitter that she would be leaving the show.

The surprise exit comes from someone who has had to defend the show’s controversial content in the past.

Per The Hill:

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Veteran comedian Sykes was asked in February if “as the world has become more PC” whether the “line for what’s funny on [‘Roseanne’] moved” as well.

“The thing about the Conners is they were a Midwestern family who have limited means, and you don’t see that a lot on TV — except for black people. Black people are allowed to be poor on TV,” Sykes told The Hollywood Reporter with a laugh. “But when the Conners came on, it was like, “Here are real people talking about real problems.”

Roseanne’s slur came in response to an article in SGT Report, which tenuously claimed that “Obama’s CIA also spied on French presidential candidates.” While Jarrett is not specifically identified in the article, a Twitter user mentioned, “Jarrett helped hide a lot,” inciting Barr’s abhorrent comment.

Amid fierce criticism over the since-deleted tweet, Roseanne issued an apology that was met with lukewarm reception.

Roseanne might claim that she is not racist, that she was on Ambien, that she partied a little too much on Memorial Day, but her tenuous justifications ring hollow given her sordid past. At this point, she would be well served to consider the error of her ways and finally take that much needed vacation from Twitter.

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Brian Tyler Cohen

Managing editor

Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

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