Roseanne Barr is a legendary comedian and sitcom star, whose self titled show was a monster hit in the 1990’s. And despite having a rather large and sometime abrasive personality, Barr managed to carve out an impressive career with a ton of impressive work and millions of fans. And yet, she ultimately won’t be remembered in a good light by many people. This is because Roseanne’s actions in recent years have basically ruined her career and her legacy. In this video, we’ll take a look at a few of the misguided and sometimes hate-filled controversies that have taken Roseanne from a loved comic and performer, to a social pariah. Join Facts Verse, as we present: Roseanne Barr Will Never Work Again After What She Did.
Barr’s awful rendition of the national anthem
In 1990, Roseanne decided to take comedic aim at the national anthem, to disastrous results. She was tasked with singing it before a San Diego Padres baseball game on July 25th of that year. While we aren’t sure how the star got hired for the gig in the first place, we’re pretty sure she didn’t audition. Because it’s safe to assume the power that be at the Padres organization would never had hired her if she had. Because as Barr sang the anthem to the crowd at Jack Murphy Stadium, it was quickly apparent that either she had no ability to sing, or had decided not to use them at all. Because Roseanne’s rendition of the venerable song was pitchy, to say the least.
It was mostly likely that Barr was trying to lean into a comedic rendition of the song, thinking it would get laughs. But instead, all it got was groans.
As Roseanne progressed further into the song, her performance only got worse and worse, prompting boos from all over the stadium. She capped off the performance by trying to make a joke reference to the behavior of baseball players: spitting on the ground and pretending to grab her protective cup. And while these are two actions that were traditionally associated with Major League players, they were not known for doing it during the national anthem.
The boos roared throughout the stadium, and Barr likely knew that her joke had fell incredible flat. That week, President Bush referred to the act as disgraceful. And as we know from more recent years, many Americans tend to be quite sensitive when it comes to actions related to the national anthem. Barr reportedly got so many threats against her afterwards that she needed protection from the LAPD for a couple years.
For her part, Roseanne fully claimed she was trying to be funny. Which, as a comic, shouldn’t be super surprising to anyone. And yet there are ways to be funny, and push the envelope that don’t involve mangling a time-honored tradition. Barr somewhat brushed off the whole incidents, claiming she must have been “too hip for the room.”
Barr posed as Hitler
It appears that the national anthem wasn’t the only time when Barr’s controversies have come from times she was intending to be funny and provocative. In 2009, she did a photoshoot for Heeb Magazine, and let’s just say, things didn’t go well. For some reasons, Barr and the editors of this website aimed at young Jews decided that dressing her up in Nazi attire would be a funny and subversive act. They had her dressed as Adolf Hitler, and in the photos she was taking “Jew cookies” out of an oven that were completely burned.
Needless to say, this sparked a backlash. It was derided for being tone deaf, insensitive, and generally in bad taste. In fairness to Barr, Heeb was a humor publication. So it wasn’t a situation where she was supposed to be taking things seriously, and she decided not to. And according to the publisher of the magazine, they were trying to be edgy and funny, and explore the boundaries of making jokes about a sensitive topic. Specifically, they were trying to gauge whether or not the taboo of making Nazi jokes was as strong as it once was. In other words, they were trying to see if it was still “too soon.” And in this case, it clearly was. Or at least, the style and nature of the so called joke was too insensitive for people to really find funny. The magazine issued a full-throated apology for the incident.
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She attacked school shooting survivor and activist David Hogg
It appears the Nazis are a topic that doesn’t stray too far from Barr’s mind. In 2018 David Hogg posted a photo where he had his fist raised in the air, as an act of defiance towards gun violence. Hogg was one of many students who survived the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida that year. He quickly became the face of an anti-gun and gun violence movement that intensified after that event. And yet, he’s been the subject of many bizarre and unfounded conspiracy theories because of it. Hogg’s prominence as an activist and shooting survivor has made him a famous public figure. Yet there are conspiracy theorists who have falsely accused him and other students of being so called “crisis actors,” claiming the shooting wasn’t real, and that it was staged as a means to drum up support for gun control. These kinds of insane and untrue theories have sprung up in recent years more and more, as school shootings have only increased.
Roseanne Barr has increasingly become enamored of the world of conspiracy theories, and she added fuel to the fire when she posted a tweet, commenting on a photo of Hogg. She claimed that his fist in the air pose was actually a “Nazi Salute.” Of course, this was the furthest thing from the truth, as Hogg was merely trying to convey strength and compassion with his fist in the air post. Barr’s tweet was widely criticized by celebrities and other people, and it was quickly deleted. But not before users grabbed screenshot of it.
Barr’s tweet about Valerie Jarrett
Barr’s career may have gone off the rails for good in May of 2018, when she posted a racist and controversial tweet aimed at former Obama administration official Valerie Jarrett. One night, Barr read a tweet that claimed Jarrett was trying to cover up bad actions by the Obama administration. (The tweet was someone’s opinion, and wasn’t necessarily backed up with any evidence, mind you.)
Barr responded to the tweet by writing, “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” It was readily apparent to anyone reading the tweet that the “vj” she referenced was Valerie Jarrett. It was a bizarre and blatantly racist attack on Jarrett, and it quickly went viral. Jarrett is an African-American who was born in Iran, so Barr’s racism included both of these facets. She was trying to link Jarrett with an extremist Islamic group, and with the racist trope of linking Black people with apes. It was a truly disgusting statement by Barr.
She gave a half hearted apology at first, claiming that “Muslims are not a race.” But at the backlash increased, she gave a more detailed apology statement, claiming it was a joke, but that it went too far. But by then the damage was done. ABC cancelled the reboot of Roseanne as a direct result of this racism.
One of the most odd components to the controversy was the fact that 10 days before the tweet, Barr publicly announced she was leaving Twitter (aside from keeping an account for DMs) because of what she felt was the rampant antisemitism. And while she was certainly correct in that Twitter, like many online platforms, has major issues with people posting antisemitic content, it appears that was the only type of hate she had issue with. Because she went ahead and attacked both Muslims and black people in the same sentence. And made a personal attack on a public servant who had done nothing to Roseanne.
Barr’s huge misstep and subsequent cancellation of the Roseanne reboot was certainly a sad situation. Not only did it tarnish her reputation, but it also meant that 100’s of people who were working for the show lost their jobs. Fortunately, ABC decided that they could pull off the show without its titular star. They rebooted it without Roseanne’s character, but with the rest of the cast intact. And it has proven to be the right call. The Conners, which is the title of the new iteration, is about to start its fifth season. It’s been a hit for the network, thanks in part to the success of the old show, but largely due to its quality writing, production, and acting. And thankfully Roseanne hasn’t been able to stir up controversy to affect it!
Now it’s time to hear from you. Do you think there’s any way for Roseanne Barr to atone for her racist tirade and get her career back on track? Do you think her legacy is forever tainted by her behavior, or will fans be able to separate the art from the artist? Let us know in the comments section below. And before you go, be sure to give this video a like, and subscribe to Facts Verse if you haven’t already. Click the bell icon to stay updated on all our latest content.