Roseanne Barr says African-American comics called her after racist tweet: 'They're the most forgiving people in the world'

Jon San
Supervising Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

On Tuesday, Roseanne Barr gave an exclusive interview to Dr. Oz, in yet another attempt to explain and apologize for her racist tweet.

In May, she compared former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett to an ape. However, she says that tweet was meant to critique the Iran nuclear deal — which Jarrett assisted with and which Barr claims threatens Israel and therefore is anti-Semitic.

“Anti-Semitism is what the tweet was about,” said Barr. “And the whole Iran deal is the most anti-Semitic thing that I personally have ever witnessed in my lifetime.”

She added that when she hit send on Twitter, “I just thought, ‘Oh boy, this [tweet] is a good one. This will really explain it.”

Despite her stated intent for the tweet to be purely political, Barr was criticized for being racist. She was fired from her rebooted show Roseanne and condemned by her castmates. But not everyone cast her out.

“The first people who called me were my African-American family members and comics,” she said. “They thought it was a joke and were defending free speech when they called me.”

Roseanne went on to praise the forgiveness she received while also making a somewhat ill-advised comment on America’s history of slavery.

“My experience with African-Americans is they’re the most forgiving people in the world,” she said. “Their whole culture is very forgiving … they forgave … they continue to improve in this country after the history of this country.”

At one point, Dr. Oz asked her point-blank if she’s racist. “No,” she said. “I’ve never done anything racist in my life. I might have said something racially insensitive more than once, like everybody else has.”

This image released by ABC shows, from left, Sara Gilbert, Jayden Rey, Michael Fishman, Ames McNamara, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Lecy Goranson, and Emma Kenney in a scene from “The Connors,” premiering Oct. 16. (Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC via AP)

Her show, which airs on ABC, is continuing on without her and with a new name, The Connors. Her spiritual adviser, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, told Dr. Oz that she won’t be watching The Connors, and instead will be far, far away, for the good of her mental health.

“Roseanne and I discussed how [she] wanted to go to Israel when The Connors airs,” said Rabbi Boteach. “[She] didn’t want to be taken to a place of darkness.”

“No,” Roseanne added. “I don’t want to be in that place ever again.”

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