Jerry Seinfeld Says Roseanne Barr Firing Was "Overkill"
"You don’t need to murder someone that’s committing suicide. I thought the firing was overkill. She's already dead," the 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' host said of Barr.
Jerry Seinfeld is weighing in on the Roseanne Barr controversy, calling her being fired from her eponymous sitcom "overkill."
"I don't even know why they had to do that," Seinfeld on Monday told USA Today at an event to promote his Netflix series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. "It seemed like, you don’t need to murder someone that’s committing suicide. I thought the firing was overkill. She's already dead."
Though questioning the firing, which came after Barr made a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama, the comedian was in awe of how quickly Barr’s career was destroyed. "I never saw someone ruin their entire career with one button push. That was fresh," Seinfeld said in another interview with Entertainment Tonight.
Earlier this month, ABC greenlighted a spinoff series, The Conners, sans Barr. Though she will not be involved in the spinoff, Seinfeld suggested the network "get another Roseanne."
"They brought Dan Conner back. He was dead, and they brought him back. So why can’t we get another Roseanne?" the comedian said. "There’s other funny women that could do that part. You need to get the comic in there. I hate to see a comic lose a job."
Though the spinoff is underway, Seinfeld admits that he doesn't "love that trend" of rebooting beloved sitcoms, and that includes his own Seinfeld: "I'm not a fan of going back. I like to go forward. Make up something new. I don't like retreads, I don't like sequels, I don't like Throwback Thursday. I like to look at old pictures, but other than that, let's move on."
In the weeks since her ABC sitcom was canceled, Barr has been dropped from her agency, ICM Partners; received backlash from Hollywood; and had reruns of her show pulled from Paramount Network, TV Land and CMT.
"I really enjoy that, and a lot of people have done it in a lot of different ways … and I like to kind of rate them and compare them," Seinfeld said.
He added: "All she had to do was press 'share' and it was all over, so I thought that was kind of cool 'cause it was different. … You know, drugs and sex, those are the usual things. This was something new, and I thought it was inventive."
Following her controversy, Barr opened up about the scandal during a phone interview with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, which was posted Sunday morning on Boteach's Soundcloud account. A transcript of the conversation also was posted on Facebook.
"It’s really hard to say this but, I didn’t mean what they think I meant," Barr said of her tweet. "And that’s what’s so painful. But I have to face that it hurt people. When you hurt people, even unwillingly, there’s no excuse. I don’t want to run off and blather on with excuses. But I apologize to anyone who thought, or felt offended and who thought that I meant something that I, in fact, did not mean. It was my own ignorance, and there’s no excuse for that ignorance."
Barr became emotional during the conversation, often speaking through tears about the issue. "You have to feel remorse, not just repentance. That’s just a step towards feeling remorse. And when you feel remorse, you have to follow it with recompense," the comedian said while crying. "You have to take an action in the world — whether it’s through money or other things — to correct your sin. After your heart is unfrozen and after it stops being broken from the pain you caused others, you stop being a robot and you've got to come back to God. So it’s remorse, and I definitely feel remorse."