In a recent podcast with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Roseanne Barr announced that she has already received job opportunities for returning to TV.
In her earlier podcast appearance with Boteach, the Rabbi commented that the star is “too important to the Jewish people…to let yourself be felled by a controversy.” The interview was a highly emotional one, in which Roseanne cried and pled for forgiveness for the things she has said and done, namely the racial slur that led to her firing from her TV show.
The purpose of this second podcast seems clear: to revive and renew Roseanne’s reputation. Boteach angles the discussion towards Roseanne’s love for her Jewish faith and for the Torah, reminding the listeners of the warm and loving Jewish mother that Roseanne claims to be, rather than the racist comedian that some see.
In the podcast, Roseanne comments that “everybody can get a lot out of reading the Torah”, to which Shmuley responds by calling it their “shared passion”. Attempting to show that she is a learned Torah scholar, Roseanne also talks about the teaching of Balak and Balaam, which tells the story of “how to turn a curse into a blessing.” We must then ask: how is Roseanne using such valuable Torah teachings to rectify her tarnished career? Will she be able to turn the curse of public disapproval into a blessing?
In a blend of Torah discussion and chats about her future career moves, Roseanne informs Boteach that she has “already been offered so many things and I almost already accepted one really good offer to go back on TV and I might do it.”
So, we anticipate with great intrigue the return of Roseanne Barr to our television screens, and wonder if she will make us kvell or cringe at her shocking humor.
Nicola Lewis is a summer intern at the Forward, writing for the life section. You can reach her at Lewis@forward.com