Roseanne Barr was fired by ABC last May after a tweet that likened former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to what would happen if the “Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes had a baby.” This week she told the Jerusalem Post that her abrupt firing was caused in part by anti-Semitism. Said Jewish people everywhere: Hey! Don’t drag us into this.
“I feel that what happened to me, a large part of it is anti-Semitism,” the Jewish comic said, adding, “They did something unprecedented that they’ve never done to any other artist. And at the base of that I think it’s because I am the most vocal person about Israel and BDS.”
Talking about the backlash to her comments on Jarrett, she said, “I was never allowed to explain what I meant — and what I meant was a commentary on Iran — so they purposely mischaracterized what I said and wouldn’t let me explain.” Experts on Iran are often quick to compare black women to apes (no, they aren’t,) so Barr’s explanation makes a lot of sense (it doesn’t.) “I think [the firing] had a lot to do with identifying with Israel,” she said.
Barr will be in Israel soon, giving a speech at the Knesset on January 31. She plans to talk about her experience being fired from ABC as well as her devotion to Israel and the reality of anti-Semitism in America. She has not ruled out, the Post confirmed, once again running for office in America, as she did in the 2012 presidential election.
Jenny Singer is the deputy lifestyle editor for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny