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'Racism is not a known side effect': Pharma company hits back after Roseanne blames outburst on sleeping pill

Roseanne, which returned to the air this year after a 21 year gap, has now been axed by ABC.

Image: Richard Shotwell via PA Images

Updated 7.40pm

COMEDIAN ROSEANNE BARR has apologised to the cast and crew of Roseanne after the ABC show was axed over the star’s racist tweet, but pinning the blame for her outburst on a sleeping pill drew a withering retort from the pharmaceutical company that makes it today.

Barr’s apologised after comparing one of Barack Obama’s former aides, Valerie Jarrett, to an ape.

The tweet, which has since been deleted, read, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj.”

After receiving a barrage of criticism online, Barr apologised and said she was leaving Twitter.

“I apologise to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me – my joke was in bad taste.

“I apologise. I am now leaving Twitter”, she said.

However, the star has since returned to Twitter, sending messages and retweeting messages of support she has received.

She had earlier said that the tweet about Jarrett was “unforgivable and indefensible” and asked followers not to defend her.

The 65-year-old also said she had taken sleeping pills when she sent the offensive tweet.

The French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi was quick to push back – trolling Barr in an acerbic post that quickly went viral.

“People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world,” the drugmaker tweeted.

“While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”

Barr also retweeted a photo purporting to quote Jarrett, who was born in Iran to American parents, that she was seeking “to help change America to be a more Islamic country”.

The quote was found to be false by fact-checking site Snopes.

TV show

Roseanne returned to the air this year after a 21 year gap.

The show, which had been renewed for another season, featured Roseanne as a Trump-supporting character.

Barr is a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump in real life and reportedly received a call from the president who appreciated the new pro-Trump perspective of the show.

When asked about his opinion, his spokesperson Sarah Sanders said, ”The President is focused on North Korea.

“He’s focused on trade deals. And he’s focused on rebuilding our military, the economy.  And that’s what he’s spending his time on; not responding to other things.”

Additional reporting by AFP

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