Roseanne Barr is “not a racist,” but she is “an idiot,” as the actress said in her first interview since ABC canceled Roseanne over a racially charged tweet Barr sent last month.
Barr, 65, spoke with New Jersey Rabbi Shmuley Boteach for the interview, which took place a day after ABC decided to cancel its Roseanne reboot. Boteach uploaded the interview, which runs about 36 minutes, to his Soundcloud account over the weekend.
“I feel so bad that they gave me another chance and I blew it. But I did it,” Barr said. “And what can I do now except say, of course, I’m not a racist, I’m an idiot. And I might have done something that comes across as bigoted and ignorant and I know that’s how it came across. And, you know, I asked for forgiveness because I do love all people, I really do.”
Barr fought back tears for most of the interview, in which she claimed she “never would have wittingly called any black person a monkey.” In a tweet last month, the actress wrote that former Obama administration aide Valerie Jarrett, a black woman, is the offspring of the “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes.”
Barr apologized for her initial racist tweet via Twitter. However, she later backtracked and said she had been tweeting under the influence of the sleep drug Ambien, which she said prompted her behavior. She later tweeted that her statement was about “the anti-semitism of the Iran deal,” because Rod Serling, who wrote the original Planet of the Apes screenplay, was Jewish.
Ambien manufacturer Sanofi tweeted that “racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”
>> READ MORE: No, Ambien did not make Roseanne Barr a racist
“I said to God, ‘I am willing to accept whatever consequences this brings because I know I’ve done wrong. I’m going to accept what the consequences are,’ and I do, and I have,” Barr said in the interview. “But they don’t ever stop. They don’t accept my apology or explanation. And I’ve made myself a hate magnet. And, as a Jew, it’s just horrible. It’s horrible.”
Despite the response she has received, Barr added that she has to “face that it hurt people.”
“I don’t want to run off and blather on with excuses,” she said. “But I apologize 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.”
ABC last week announced it would air a 10-episode sitcom starring Barr’s TV family, the Conners, sans her character. In a statement, Barr said she agreed to the deal in order to save the jobs of crew and cast members of the show..
The network canceled Roseanne last month just hours after her tweet about Jarrett, calling it “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values” in a statement.
Roseanne was a ratings hit at ABC. Its March premiere had some 25 million viewers, according to NBC.
“I don’t excuse it. I horribly regret it,” Barr said. “I lost everything, and I regretted it before I lost everything.”