It only took a few hours for ABC to cancel Roseanne Barr’s show Tuesday after she tweeted racist remarks about Valerie Jarrett, a former senior adviser to President Obama.
It took even less time for the far-right to rally to Barr’s defense.
With reactions ranging from claims of ignorance — including questions about how commentary about “apes” could ever be construed as racist — to pledges of support for whatever Barr’s next venture may be, some of the most prominent voices among the conspiratorial right offered their full-throated support for Barr’s racist commentary, as well as their opposition to ABC’s decision.
None on the far-right defended ABC’s move, or even acknowledged that Barr’s comments could be construed as racist. The #BoycottABC hashtag rose on Tuesday afternoon to No. 2 among trending hashtags on ThinkProgress’s Extreme Right Dashboard, which monitors extreme right accounts on Twitter.
Barr later apologized for her comments.
Some of the most conspiratorial far-right voices, such as Pizzagate truthers Jack Posobiec and Mike Cernovich, raced to defend Barr. Posobiec encouraged his followers to push ABC to reverse its decision, while Cernovich attempted to layer his defense with a convoluted, confused point about “free speech.”
— Jack Posobiec🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) May 29, 2018
Reader writes in:
– So, the same people who have said it's acceptable for NFL players to express their free speech rights while "on the clock" at work.. are cheering because it's not ok for Roseanne to use her free speech rights while "off the clock".. is that what's happening?
— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) May 29, 2018
Others claimed that Barr’s comments, which compared Jarrett’s looks to those of characters from the Planet of the Apes film franchise, weren’t racist at all. Bill Mitchell, one of President Trump’s most vocal supporters, tweeted that Barr’s comment merely pointed to the theory of evolution, while Gavin McInnes — a far-right provocateur who has previously called transgender people “gender n*ggers” — defended Barr’s comments outright.
I'm not sure how saying someone looks like a child of "Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes" is racist.
I thought "Muslim Brotherhood" was supposed to be a "good" thing and Liberals say we are descended from apes?
What am I missing here?
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) May 29, 2018
— Gavin McInnes (@Gavin_McInnes) May 29, 2018
Noted bigot and self-described journalist Laura Loomer even managed to refer to Barr as a “spirit animal.”
ABC News literally just cancelled @therealroseanne's show because she dropped some major red pills in a tweet.
I love Roseanne. She's my spirit animal. pic.twitter.com/jWSIGgA8gY
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) May 29, 2018
Other, less-prominent voices on the far-right ignored Barr’s racist commentary entirely. Instead, they claimed that Barr’s firing stemmed from her decision to incorrectly call financier George Soros a Nazi. One, Holocaust denier Peter Imanuelsen, even appeared to claim that there was some kind of conspiracy among the “mainstream media” against Barr for her comments about Soros.
Roseanne actually tweeted some of my videos months ago. Can't wait for Buzzfeed et al. to write about me and say this is more "evidence" of me being a nazi or whatever their new buzzword is for their independent media opponents this month.
Also: No, I do not disavow her.
— Styxhexenhammer666 (@Styx666Official) May 29, 2018
Donald Trump Jr., who often promotes fringe conspiracy theories, also helped amplify Barr’s misinformation.
The president's son retweeted the Roseanne Barr Soros Nazi lie pic.twitter.com/w2UonLyPHN
— David Frum (@davidfrum) May 29, 2018
Barr’s next steps are unclear. However, it seems that wherever she ends up, she’ll at least have a half-dozen far-right Twitter users who will tune in, even if no one else does.