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Mo’Nique isn’t ready to give up on Roseanne Barr just yet—even if the rest of Hollywood is.
Barr made headlines for all the wrongs reasons in May, after comparing former Valerie Jarrett, an advisor in the Obama White House, to an ape. Her Twitter antics led to the swift cancellation of the acclaimed “Roseanne” reboot, as well as widespread criticism. (A Roseanne-less rebirth of the show came later.)
Despite the controversy, it looks like Barr still has a friend in fellow comedian and actress Mo’Nique.
The 50-year-old Academy Award-winner, who perhaps knows a thing or two about getting “blackballed” herself, defended Barr on Friday during an interview with the CW-affiliated, Los Angeles-based news station KTLA, calling Barr her “sister in comedy.”
“We’ve all said and done things, baby, that we wish we could take back and swallow and say, ‘Oh.’ But when you’re in the public eye, you can’t, and it’s out there,” Mo’Nique said.
Barr, Mo’Nique explained, supported her early in her career, and agreed to appear on “The Mo’Nique Show”—a late night talk show that premiered in 2009 and lasted for two seasons—when many in the industry, even those “who looked like [her],” would not appear on her show because it was “too black.”
Barr also had “beautiful words” for her when the cameras weren’t rolling, Mo’Nique continued.
“Yes, my sister made a mistake and she said something I know she wishes she could take back,” she continued. “But what I would ask is that we don’t throw her away.”
Mo’Nique expanded on the value of forgiveness, especially when someone apologizes, and shared a message for her "sister," saying, “So, to Roseanne Barr from Mo’Nique, I would say to my sister, ‘I love you.’ I know you made a mistake. I know you messed up. But I still won’t throw you away. I won’t put you on the racist list and say, ‘Oh, never again.’ That is my sister, and I think these are the moments that really count.”
She also added that she would like to see Jarrett and Barr “come together,” and encouraged Barr to apologize to Jarrett.
Since making her initial comments on Twitter—that included calling Jarrett a combination of the Muslim Brotherhood and the movie “Planet Of The Apes”—Barr’s public responses have run the gamut, from blaming her tweets on having taken Ambien (which the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the powerful prescription sleep aid was quick to contest), to shouting at the camera in a July 19 YouTube video, “I thought the bitch was white.”
Barr addressed the controversy surrounding her during an interview with Fox News on Friday, telling Sean Hannity that she wishes she had worded it better.
In a statement directed at Jarrett, Barr said, “I’m so sorry that you thought I was racist and that you thought that my tweet was racist because it wasn’t. It was political. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding that caused, my ill-worded tweet.”
She continued: “I’m sorry that you feel harmed and hurt. I never meant that, and for that, I apologize. I never meant to hurt anybody, or say anything negative about an entire race of people which I think 30 years of my work can attest to.”
[Photo: Mo'Nique attends the premiere of “Almost Christmas” at Regency Village Theatre on November 3, 2016 in Westwood, California. By Barry King/Getty Images; Roseanne Barr seen here at Stand Up New York on July 26, 2018 in New York City. By Steve Mack/WireImage, via Getty Images]