Roseanne Barr just can’t shut up
Two questions into Roseanne Barr’s packed appearance at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in late January, it happens: A reporter goes right for the Valerie Jarrett.
Last May, Barr tweeted 11 words that managed to reference the Obama adviser, the science-fiction film “Planet of the Apes” and the Muslim Brotherhood. Within hours, ABC killed its most popular show of 2018. And Barr went from beloved sitcom star to spreader of hate.
“You are a sorry excuse for a human being,” actress Rita Moreno tweeted at the time.
“Roseanne made a choice. A racist one,” added “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes.
“There is not any room in our society for racism or bigotry,” tweeted civil rights icon and congressman John Lewis.
Now, from the third row of the auditorium, Sagi Bin Nun of the news website Walla takes his own shot.
“Israel is the place where people ask to be forgiven by God,” he says. “Would you like to take this opportunity to apologize for your racist tweet?”
Boos rain down on Bin Nun, and some guy yells, “You’re a jerk.” For two days, Barr has been telling anybody in Israel with a camera that she’s a “Jewy Jew,” a warrior for their homeland and disgusted with “repulsive” Natalie Portman and other so-called Hollywood hypocrites. During her two-week excursion to the Holy Land, she will pray at the Western Wall, tour the West Bank, huddle with government officials, serve on a panel with spoon-bending illusionist Uri Geller and, when she’s worn out, crash back at her suite at the Inbal Hotel.
But right now, she can’t let Bin Nun go.
“You’re a mean person who just wants to insult people for no reason whatsoever,” Barr says in front of everyone. “I pray to God to raise the sparks in you so that you’ll become a decent person.”
What to make of this. It’s uncomfortable and entertaining and weird, particularly with Barr sitting between an Orthodox rabbi and the deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset. Last March, Barr was on the cusp of one of the great comebacks in television history. Twenty years after wrapping her groundbreaking sitcom “Roseanne,” Barr, 66, had signed to return with the entire cast. The reboot premiere reached more than 27 million viewers. Three days later, ABC renewed the revived “Roseanne” for another season.
There was a problem, though: Barr had Twitter, and she wasn’t afraid to use it.