Comedian is no stranger to controversy
She's often offered explanations once backlash erupts
The tweets from Roseanne Barr that led to the cancellation of her hit ABC series is just the latest controversy involving the comedian.
ABC axed the “Roseanne” reboot after a series of tweets Barr sent Tuesday, including one in which she wrote about former Obama administration official Valerie Jarrett, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”
Those who have followed Barr’s career over the years are aware she’s often stirred outrage.
Here are just a few examples:
’Star-Spangled Banner’ performance
Barr turned in what is now considered one of the all-time worst “Star-Spangled Banner” performances when she sang at a 1990 San Diego Padres game.
That year her “Roseanne” star was red hot on ABC, and her standup career was thriving.
But Barr’s rendition of the National Anthem was not well-received.
Audible boos could be heard as she shrieked her way through it, at one point putting a finger in her ears.
Barr concluded with a crotch grab and spitting on the ground.
The performance was roundly condemned, with President George H.W. Bush calling it “disgraceful.”
At a press conference later, Barr tried to explain she was simply trying to be funny.
“None of this was meant viciously,” she said at the time. “Nobody feels worse than me.”
Recanting sex abuse claims
Barr shocked fans in 1991 when she claimed she had been sexually abused as a child.
“My name is Roseanne and I am an incest survivor,” she reportedly told an audience gathered at a church in Denver.
In 2011 she recanted and told Oprah Winfrey, “I think it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done. It’s the biggest mistake that I’ve ever made.”
“I think what happened was that – well, I know what happened was that I was in a very unhappy relationship,” Barr said. “I was prescribed numerous psychiatric drugs. Incredible mixtures of psychiatric drugs to deal with the fact that I had, and still in some ways, have and always will have some mental illness. And the drugs and the combination of drugs that I was given, which were some strong, strong drugs, I totally lost touch with reality in a big, big way.”
Dressing as Hitler
In 2009, Barr posed for Heeb magazine dressed as Adolf Hitler pulling burned cookies in the shape of people from an oven.
According to the publication, Barr – who is Jewish – requested the look.
The accompanying interview featured Barr talking everything from Twitter (which she said at the time she had deleted because of “the idiocy of people and how ill-informed they all seem”) and other controversial comics.
“Franklin Ajaye, Paul Mooney, Mort Sahl and Dick Gregory’s passings will tear my kishkas out,” Barr said. “They gave everything they had to just tell the truth, and they couldn’t make a decent living because of the choice they made – not selling out to Hollywood.”
The photos recently resurfaced after the “Roseanne” reboot.
Barr attempted to explain her motivation for the photo shoot in an expletive-laden appearance on “The Green Room” in 2011.
She said she was not trying to make fun of Jewish people or the Holocaust.
“There’s another, deeper layer to it,” Barr said. “Moving off this Holocaust, there’s been about 50 of them since then. That’s what I’m kind of trying to say is like Jesus Christ it’s so f***ing every day now, Holocaust, it’s like baking cookies.”
Sharing address of George Zimmerman’s parents
Shortly after teen Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman in a high-profile case in 2012, Barr retweeted the home address of Zimmerman’s parents.
“If Zimmerman isn’t arrested I’ll rt his address again — maybe go 2 his house myself,” she said in a now-deleted tweet.
Robert and Gladys Zimmerman sued Barr in 2014, saying her actions caused them to have to go into hiding for years.
The suit was thrown out in 2015.