Roseanne Barr has claimed that she “never would have wittingly called any black person… a monkey” in a tearful interview recorded a day after the cancellation of her sitcom.
The podcast was recorded with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach who has released an edited transcript and audio.
“It’s really hard to say this but, I didn’t mean what they think I meant,” Barr said of her tweet. “And that’s what’s so painful. But I have to face that it hurt people. When you hurt people even unwillingly there’s no excuse. I don’t want to run off and blather on with excuses. But I apologise to anyone who thought, or felt offended and who thought that I meant something that I, in fact, did not mean. It was my own ignorance, and there’s no excuse for that ignorance.”
Barr spoke through tears for much of the interview.
“You have to feel remorse, not just repentance. That’s just a step towards feeling remorse. And when you feel remorse you have to follow it with recompense,” Barr said. “You have to take an action in the world – whether it’s through money or other things – to correct your sin. After your heart is unfrozen and after it stops being broken from the pain you caused others, you stop being a robot and you gotta’ come back to God. So it’s remorse, and I definitely feel remorse.”
Boteach raised discussion of the Jewish faith, and its principle that all human beings are equal.
“So, I’m asking, in that tweet, people see in that a complete contravention of that values system,” he said.
“I have black children in my family,” Barr explained. “I can’t, I can’t let ’em say these things about that, after 30 years of my putting my family and my health and my livelihood at risk to stand up for people. I’m a lot of things, a loud mouth and all that stuff. But I’m not stupid for God’s sake. I never would have wittingly called any black person, [I would never had said] they are a monkey. I just wouldn’t do that. I didn’t do that. And people think that I did that and it just kills me.
“I didn’t do that. And if they do think that, I’m just so sorry that I was so unclear and stupid. I’m very sorry. But I don’t think that and I would never do that. I have loved ones who are African-American, and I just can’t stand it. I’ve made a huge error and I told ABC when they called me.”
Barr has since reached a settlement with ABC to walk away from any claims on the upcoming spin-off, tentatively called The Conners.