Last week, Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet and the ensuing backlash got her sitcom revival cancelled. Womp womp.
This week, she is trying to convince people that she is “making resitution” for what she’s done. That’s very vague, but sounds good.
Unfortunately, she might be more convincing if she weren’t retweeting outlandish, horrible statements about the same woman she compared to an epe.
Roseanne Barr tweeted that former Senior Adviser to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, was the child of the “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes.”
That, folks, is racist. Comparing black people to apes has a long and terrible history, and it is impossible to imagine that Roseanne did not know that.
Though she had made a similar statement about another member of the Obama administration several years ago, it was the outcry over this tweet that prompted ABC to cancel her series.
In addition to using racism as a weapon to target a woman whose politics she dislike, Roseanne also cost the entire cast and crew their jobs.
While multiple sources indicate that a spinoff without Barr might actually happen, it sounds like a long-shot.
Roseanne herself seems to at least acknowledge that she did something wrong. On Tuesday, she tweeted:
“I’m making restitution for the pain I have caused.”
It is not clear whether Roseanne is referring to the people she targeted with racist insults — people like Valerie Jarrett.
She may also be talking about the cast and crew who are suddenly in search of new jobs even though her show had previously been renewed for a second season.
Many of these people may have had to turn down offers that have now expired because they already had Roseanne lined up. Some are scrambling.
But maybe Roseanne really wants to convince fans who felt betrayed by her racism that she’s not the same as she was.
Though retweeting replies like this one may make that harder to believe.
A fan tweeted, and Roseanne retweeted, this:
“You didn’t cause any pain. Those people always hated you.”
Point of order: actually, plenty of people who currently dislike Roseanne Barr were fans of her, years ago, when she was an advocate for equality. They wonder what happened to make her like she is today.
“Valerie Jarrett wants Israelis and Jews chased into the sea, and she’ll celebrate.”
We’re horrified by this statement and also unsure of the source of Jarrett’s alleged desire to red bull an entire diverse ethnic group of millions of people.
Obviously, Roseanne is not responsible for the abhorrent things that her fans say.
But she chose to retweet this. She is responsible for that.
And many feel that it calls her entire “restitution’ statement into question.
Roseanne also tweeted this:
“Deplatforming — read about it.”
Deplatforming is usually brought up when people are talking about nazis.
The idea is essentially that while people are free to think and say the most evil, abhorrent things imaginable, that doesn’t mean that other people have to listen.
It also doesn’t mean that these people need a platform from which to spew their vile rhetoric.
Thus, deplatforming is making sure that people like famed nazi Richard Spencer have as few opportunities to try to share their ideas about genocide as possible.
Based upon that tweet, Roseanne apparently believes that deplatforming is a bad thing and that it is happening to her.
In that case, is she suggesting that her racist tweet was fine, and that this was all a sinister conspiracy to boot her off of television?
To be honest … based upon her social media history, this would not even the most bizarre and improbable conspiracy theory that Roseanne believes.
But though people have rushed to her defense — sort of — by claiming that she isn’t racist but is in fact just crazy, there is no evidence of that.
Racism is a lot of things, but it is not a mental illness. Millions of people with mental illness manage to not be racist. Sometimes, people are just bad.
We would all like to see Roseanne do and say better things. Maybe she’s serious about restitution. We sure hope so.