Back to IndieWire

Roseanne Barr Says ABC Killing off Character Was a Message: ‘They Did Want Me to Commit Suicide’

The comedian calls out the sexist double standard of cancel culture, noting Dave Chappelle and Louis C.K.'s post-scandal successes.

Roseanne Barr

Roseanne Barr

Getty Images

Roseanne Barr has called out what she thinks is the sexist double standard of cancel culture and addressed ABC for firing her from her own sitcom reboot “Roseanne” before rebranding it as “The Conners.”

“It was a witch-burning,” Barr said of the fallout in a new interview with The Los Angeles Times. “They denied me the right to apologize. Oh my God, they just hated me so badly. I had never known that they hated me like that. They hate me because I have talent, because I have an opinion. Even though ‘Roseanne’ became [ABC’s] No. 1 show, they’d rather not have a No. 1 show.”

Barr continued, “When they killed my character off, that was a message to me – knowing that I’m mentally ill or have mental health issues – that they did want me to commit suicide.

Barr pointed out that fellow stand-ups Dave Chappelle and Louis C.K. have since continued touring and drawing audiences since being “canceled” by the public.

“They didn’t do it to anyone else in Hollywood, although they always [mention] Dave Chappelle and Louis C.K.,” Barr told. “Well, Louis C.K. did lose everything, but he committed an actual [offense]. And Dave Chappelle was protected by Netflix. I’m the only person who’s lost everything, whose life’s work was stolen, stolen by people who I thought loved me.”

She added, “And there was silence. There was no one in Hollywood really defending me publicly, except for Mo’Nique, who is a brave, close, dear friend.”

Mo’Nique similarly filed a lawsuit against Netflix claiming the streamer had racial and gender discrimination when negotiating payment for a stand-up special. The lawsuit was later settled, with Mo’Nique announcing a new special.

Meanwhile, Barr was given the boot from “Roseanne” after tweeting in 2018 that White House advisor Valerie Jarrett was related to the “Planet of the Apes” films and the Muslim Brotherhood. Barr later said she did not realize Jarrett was Black and was on Ambien at the time of the tweet.

Now, Barr is leading stand-up special “Roseanne Barr: Cancel This!” on Fox Nation and said the new network allowed her to be her “most offensive” yet.

“I’m so happy that this is the most offensive in my stand-up that I’ve ever had the balls to be,” Barr said.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , , , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox