Judd Apatow has known Roseanne Barr for decades, and as such appears less quick to condemn her than many of his contemporaries. A tweet from the actress and comedienne led to the cancelation of her revived sitcom “Roseanne” last month despite massive ratings, with sympathy for Barr in short supply from most corners. Not Apatow: “I think you have a person who’s in a moment of success and maybe that’s uncomfortable for her, and whatever urges she has to be rebellious have overtaken her in some way,” he tells Vanity Fair in a new interview.
“I haven’t spoken to her recently to know where her head’s at generally, but I see it more as someone who’s crying out for help than someone who’s a hateful person … for the most part, I hope she’s okay and I feel bad for people who got hurt in that. Everyone who worked with her, it’s tragic,” Apatow adds. The two have known each other since working together in the early 1990s.
“She’s not really built to be on top of that pyramid, in charge of a lot of people, responsible for them, because she has her own struggles. I’ve never heard her say anything that was racist in decades. So I don’t know where that comes from. It’s as mysterious to me as anybody else.
“But there’s a lot of people who get pulled into these worlds of conspiracies and I really don’t understand it because all she was was a proponent of women,” Apatow continues. “The only way I can process it is, in some way, Roseanne is in some sort of altered state of her mind. And I just hope that she finds her way back to the values that were really important to her when I first met her.”
Following last month’s cancelation of “Roseanne,” ABC announced this week that a spinoff featuring the entire cast aside from Barr called “The Conners” will premiere this fall.