NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — After actress Roseanne Barr partly blamed Ambien for the tweet that led to her show’s cancellation, the maker of the insomnia drug quickly retorted that “racism is not a known side effect.”
Hours after ABC axed her show for her offensive tweet about former President Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett — and quickly breaking a promise to stay off Twitter — the comedian was back on the social media platform.
Barr said she was under the influence of the prescription sleep aid when she made the controversial remarks about Jarrett.
“I did something unforgiveable so do not defend me,” Barr wrote. “It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended-it was egregious Indefensible. I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but…don’t defend it please.”
That led to the response on Twitter by the drug maker Sanofi, which released a statement that read in part: “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”
In a series of tweets overnight, Barr also apologized to those who lost their jobs because of the “Roseanne” cancellation, expressing remorse she was being branded a racist, and also retweeting posts that attacked ABC and a meme that included Jarrett.
The supporters’ tweets included posts that criticized ABC, “The View” co-host Joy Behar and ESPN’s Keith Olbermann. She later asked supporters not to defend her.
President Donald Trump also responded on Twitter Wednesday, saying: “Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that ‘ABC does not tolerate comments like those’ made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?”
The network canceled its hit reboot of “Roseanne” Tuesday after Barr’s tweet that referred to Jarrett as a cross between the Muslim Brotherhood and the “Planet of the Apes.”
Barr was resoundingly condemned Tuesday, including from many who helped make her show successful.
The executive producer of “Roseanne,” which came back this spring after being gone for two decades and instantly became television’s second most popular comedy, said he supported ABC’s decision.
“Our goal was to promote constructive discussion about the issues that divide us,” said Tom Werner. “It represented the work of hundreds of talented people. I hope the good work done is not totally eclipsed by those abhorrent and offensive comments, and that Roseanne seeks the help she so clearly needs.”
ABC canceled the show in a one-sentence statement from Channing Dungey, the network’s entertainment president, who called it “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.”
During a previously scheduled town hall on racism, which aired Tuesday on MSNBC, Jarrett also responded.
“I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment,” she said. “I’m worried about all the people who don’t have a circle of friends and followers who come right to their defense.”
Barr Tuesday apologized for the racist tweet about Jarrett.
“I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me-my joke was in bad taste.”
Even before the sitcom was canceled, comedian and consulting producer Wanda Sykes said she was leaving the show.
Actress Sara Gilbert, who plays Roseanne’s daughter Darlene and is an executive producer of the show, tweeted “I am disappointed in her actions to say the least.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)