Five years after a reboot of her iconic sitcom was canceled, Roseanne Barr is apparently still nursing a grudge against out former co-star Sara Gilbert.
On a recent episode of former Fox News host Megyn Kelly’s SiriusXM podcast, the troubled comedian and Trump supporter rehashed old claims that Gilbert was primarily responsible for getting the 2018 reboot of her eponymous sitcom canceled.
“She repeatedly twisted it,” Barr said at Kelly’s suggestion that Gilbert had stabbed her in the back. “It was her tweet that canceled the show.”
Gilbert played Barr’s daughter Darlene on Roseanne during the show’s original run from 1988 to 1997. She spearheaded the 2018 revival of the series, returning as an executive producer as well as reprising her role alongside the show’s original cast.
Though a critical and ratings success, the reboot was canceled after one season following a series of racist tweets in which Barr compared former senior Obama administration advisor Valerie Jarrett to characters from the Planet of the Apes franchise. (Barr later claimed that she thought Jarrett was white.)
Gilbert was one of many voices condemning Barr’s tweets at the time.
“Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least,” she tweeted in 2018. “This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love— one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member.”
Wanda Sykes, who was a consulting producer on the reboot, quit the show. Barr’s ex-husband Tom Arnold and comedian Sandra Bernhard, both of whom appeared in Roseanne’s original run, criticized her comments, as did Don Cheadle, Zoe Saldana, Debra Messing, Ike Barinholtz, Patricia Arquette, Wilson Cruz, among many others.
But Barr singled out Gilbert. “She destroyed the show and my life with that tweet,” Barr told The Washington Post in 2019, nearly a year after she signed away her rights to the original show so that a spin-off, The Conners, could move forward without her. “She will never get enough until she consumes my liver with a fine Chianti.”
On Kelly’s podcast, Barr said she was “floored” by Gilbert’s tweet. “I was just floored. And you know, but she ends up owning my work and [Conners co-executive producer] Tom Werner becomes her partner in owning my work.”
Barr claimed to have threatened Gilbert in phone call after Gilbert criticized her racism on The Talk. “I called her up and I said, just like this, ‘You better shut your blanking mouth about me. I’m telling you, you better shut your effing mouth,’” she told Kelly. “And then she did. But you know, my voice can be very scary.”
The comedian, whose recent Fox Nation stand-up special was panned by critics, also claimed that she felt threatened by producers’ decision to kill her character off on The Connors. “I thought they were sending a message over the airwaves because they knew I had mental health issues. I thought they wanted me to kill myself. And all my friends did too. They said, they’re trying to push you to suicide.”
For her part, Gilbert told The Washington Post in 2019 that “While I’m extremely disappointed and heartbroken over the dissolution of the original show, she will always be family, and I will always love Roseanne.”