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Roseanne Barr addresses controversy: ‘Of course I don’t believe that the Holocaust never happened’

The actress and comedian says that the clip of her denying the Holocaust was a joke taken out of context

Roseanne Barr addressed her controversial comments about the Holocaust, clarifying that the viral clip was part of a joke taken out of context. She made the explanation Thursday on her podcast, The Roseanne Barr Show.

Barr came under fire earlier this week after a clip of her appearance on This Past Weekend, a podcast hosted by comedian Theo Von, went viral on social media on Tuesday. In the clip, which began near the end of a conversation about censorship and the 2020 election, Barr said that “Nobody died in the Holocaust, either. That’s the truth.” She continued: “It should happen — 6 million Jews should die right now because they cause all the problems in the world, but it never happened.”

Barr, who is Jewish, said on Thursday that it was a joke, and refuted the claim that she had denied the Holocaust. “I was raised in an apartment building with Holocaust survivors, so of course I don’t believe that the Holocaust never happened,” she said. “I actually am a religious Jew, so why don’t you go f–ck yourself.”

Barr’s son, Jake Petland, who also produces her podcast, framed Barr’s five-minute public statement in light of the online controversy. “We felt like we should come and address it, so this is my mother addressing it,” he said.

Petland saw the podcast as a platform for the actress and comedian to speak her “mind for the first time,” he said. “They always take the joke out of context and paint you however they want, and then they never let you explain the joke.”

Barr responded: “Well, there’s no freedom of speech in America, and there hasn’t been for a very, very long time.”

She noted her particular concern for free speech in comedy, likening her recent controversy to those of past comedians. “It’s what they did to Lenny Bruce, too,” Barr said. “They canceled and arrested and ruined his life because he was talking about the Catholic Church.”

Barr continued, arguing that on social media, people would twist Henny Youngman’s “Take my wife, please” joke into the comedian’s endorsement of human trafficking.

“We are under such heavy Satanic mind control in this country,” Barr said. “I’m always trying to break through to get a little God in there.”

Barr’s original comments about the Holocaust occurred as part of a two-and-a-half hour interview, in which she also said that Jews run Hollywood like “an organized crime network.”

Many people rushed to Barr’s defense, assuming it was satire. But Jonathan Greenblatt, head of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote on Twitter that argument made for a difference without a distinction: “Sarcasm or not, Roseanne Barr’s comments about Jews and the Holocaust are reprehensible and irresponsible. This isn’t funny.”

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