Roseanne Barr promotes an unhinged pro-Trump conspiracy theory on Twitter

As her new show premieres, Barr is using her increased platform to highlight the "QAnon" conspiracy.

Roseanne Barr attends the premiere of ABC's "Roseanne" at Walt Disney Studio Lot on March 23, 2018 in Burbank, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Roseanne Barr attends the premiere of ABC's "Roseanne" at Walt Disney Studio Lot on March 23, 2018 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Roseanne Barr — who has risen to new prominence thanks to the premiere of her sitcom reboot on ABC, which drew 18 million viewers this week — took to Twitter on Friday night to allude to a fringe conspiracy theory involving sex trafficking rings, “deep state” government operatives, and President Trump.

“President Trump has freed so many children held in bondage to pimps all over this world. Hundreds each month. He has broken up trafficking rings in high places everywhere, notice that,” she wrote, in a tweet that confounded many of her followers.

Barr followed up her initial tweet with several other retweets and comments reflecting her belief that Trump can effectively “leave his mark” by continuing his current crackdown on human trafficking and sex slavery.

The idea that the mainstream media is ignoring Trump’s quiet efforts to effectively counter sex trafficking rings has been roundly debunked. The Trump administration is not making any particularly notable progress in this area.


As noted by Will Sommer in a thorough rundown published on Medium, this belief about Trump is actually a hallmark of a fringe conspiracy theory with similarities to “Pizzagate” — the fake news stoked by right-wing corners of the internet that reached a fever pitch in 2016, when a man fired a rifle in a D.C. pizzeria.

The “QAnon” theory — also sometimes referred to broadly as “the Storm” —  involves an anonymous 4chan user claiming to have high-level government information who leaves cryptic clues across the internet for followers to “decode.” The convoluted messages don’t seem to have much meaning on their face, but followers claim they signal credible predictions.

For instance, “QAnon” claims that the major Democratic operatives and celebrities who currently have the most power over the country are pedophiles, and will soon be arrested for their role in facilitating sex trafficking rings.

Over the past several months, “the Storm” theories have gradually made their way out of the depths of 4chan and into more mainstream online platforms like YouTube, Reddit, and Twitter — including Roseanne Barr’s Twitter account.


Sommer notes that Barr has a long history of interest in “QAnon,” and has tweeted questions about “Q” to her followers several times. The Daily Beast published on Friday a detailed report of Barr’s interactions with “QAnon” fans over the past several months (including a breakdown of a convoluted theory that Barr herself helps provide proof of the “QAnon” theory, after her internet presence went dark following her public request to be put in touch with “Q”).

Perhaps tellingly, the heightened scrutiny on Barr’s connection to the conspiracy theory has recently incited some pushback in right-wing media circles. Rush Limbaugh defended Barr this week from ongoing criticism in the media regarding her elevation of “QAnon” theories.

Barr has long been a fan of Trump (as is her character on her show), and the feeling appears to be mutual. The president called Barr to congratulate her this week after ABC’s premiere of “Roseanne” drew big ratings.

Media executives at ABC did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether the network has any concerns about Barr using her platform to elevate fringe conspiracies.