The obligatory Roseanne "I thought the bitch was white" clip

If you’re like me, you glanced at a headline about this a few days ago, thought “meh,” and forgot about it. I imagined her saying it in her usual half-laughing sardonic drawl that I’ve heard 8,000 times before. Who cares?

Then I watched the clip. Does the word “Xanax” mean anything to you?

Most reaction online has been of the “get help” variety, which assumes that she’s genuinely out of control. Is she, or is it a performance? She posted the clip, after all. And then she posted the second clip below, of her delivering the same message in a more polished way. Viewed back-to-back they play like a joke on public apology rituals: First is the raw truth about how she feels, then comes the sanitized PR version, which naturally feels inauthentic by comparison. Barr’s most distinctive feature as a performer is her knack for entertainment that feels a bit more real than the usual Hollywood fare. Maybe that’s what the first clip is about too.

Or maybe she really is whacked out.

I don’t know what to make of her saying that she wouldn’t have been summarily fired if she wasn’t a Trump supporter. The fact that she’s a Trump supporter is what drove interest in the “Roseanne” reboot in the first place! How many hot takes have we endured this year about Barr having an insight into middle America that the rest of the TV industry lacked? James Gunn is the opposite of a Trump fan and he was expurgated yesterday from a major film franchise thanks to years-old trollish Twitter jokes. Her timing in making this point couldn’t be worse. But who knows if she’s sincere about it: Claiming Trump-related martyrdom might just be her way of positioning herself for a second act in entertainment aimed explicitly at right-wing audiences. She’ll probably end up with a radio show or [deep sigh] podcast.

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David Strom 6:31 PM on October 05, 2022