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While speaking to Dr. Mehmet Oz for a TV interview, Roseanne Barr elaborated on her Ambien use and how it influenced the racist Roseanne-ending tweet she sent.
“Well, I’ve done some weird things on Ambien, and I think a lot of people have. I’ve heard from thousands of people about it,” Barr said in a preview clip from the premiere episode of The Dr. Oz Show, which airs on Tuesday. “One guy got up and cooked a turkey and ate it,” she continued. “That was, like, four hours, if you think about it — and didn’t remember it in the morning. And all the time that happens to me.”
Barr added that she has had similar experiences while on the drug. “When I go up in the kitchen and there’s a whole box of Triscuits laid out and eggs cracked on the wall, cheese everywhere — I ‘Ambien eat,’ like how Tiger Woods ‘Ambien drove.’ It’s a weird drug.”
Barr also addressed the cancellation of her ABC comedy Roseanne.
Barr has long claimed she was on Ambien, a sedative used to treat insomnia, when she tweeted racist remarks about former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. The controversial tweets received backlash and ultimately led to the cancellation of her revived sitcom. ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey explained the decision to cancel the show by stating, “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”
At the end of the Ambien clip, Dr. Oz told Barr: “I actually looked up Ambien, and tweeting is not a side effect.” The disgraced actor agreed. (After her tweet, the Ambien Wikipedia page had jokingly added Roseanne side effects.)
Barr was joined by friend Rabbi Shmuley Boteach for the interview; she has appeared several times on his podcast since Roseanne was canceled and was the first person Barr publicly spoke to about the tweets.
In a second and more contentious clip from the sitdown, Barr disagrees with Dr. Oz when he says that her use of the term “ape” displayed subtle racism.
“You said the word ‘ape,’ in modern America,” says Dr. Oz. But Barr refutes him by saying, “No, I said Planet of the Apes.”
She then goes on to say, “I know what you’re doing and everyone else does it. I said, Planet of the Apes, which is a science fiction movie about the overthrow of evil overlords such as Iran. And I have apologized for this, [and] the following too. I thought Valerie Jarrett was an Iranian woman like a lot of people. I didn’t understand that she was an African-American woman. When I saw her on TV and she was doing her DNA test, she’s also 46 percent European. So let’s just move past it.”
Tuesday’s show will also feature a panel of influencers and experts, including DeVon Franklin, Charlamagne tha God, Dr. Karen Ruskin and Sophia Nelson, that will weigh in on Barr’s responses after the interview.
Watch the teaser clips for the episode below.
Sept. 14, 12 p.m. Updated with second clip.
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