Roseanne Barr's ex-husband opens up about her racism scandal while speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, CNN and "Today" show.
Tom Arnold has been busy lashing out at ex-wife Roseanne Barr and President Donald Trump since ABC gave her rebooted sitcom the boot over the star's racist tweet about former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.
"It had to happen. And I am going to tell you the truth, she wanted it to happen, if you saw how her tweets escalated this weekend," Arnold said. "If it hadn’t happened yesterday, this season would have been so awful for everyone every day because she would have felt like she was [being] taken advantage [of], just like when I left the show."
He said he warned ABC beforehand to wrangle the phone out of her hands so the "loose cannon" didn't do exactly what she did on Tuesday when she tweeted, "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj." One thing Arnold doesn't understand about Roseanne is her support for Trump.
"She's known Trump for 30 years like I have," he told THR. "She knows he's an asshole. She is so locked in with Trump she is unable to have any introspection. It is a weird thing."
"It has been 24 years, so I don’t know that I know who Roseanne is," he added. "Everyone has always been scared shitless of her. She is a f-cking asshole, but so am I. No one ever stood up to her like I did."
Next up on Arnold's trash-talking tour was CNN Wednesday night, reiterating to Anderson Cooper that he knew the reboot "would not end well" given "how far gone" Roseanne was since falling down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole, where she has hopped aboard several bandwagons, including the Obama birther movement and Pizzagate, and most recently, a debunked theory conservative actor Scott Baio made up about Chelsea Clinton.
As for his ex comparing an African-American woman to an ape, Arnold said it was not the first time and blames Trump's influence on her and other Americans.
"By the way, this monkey thing is something she’s tweeted before about black people,” Arnold said. "Why is it OK?! It’s a meme that she and thousands of her alt-right fans do. They love calling black people monkeys. It’s not a one time joke ... They do it because we have a white trash racist president. That’s a fact. Donald Trump -- Roseanne and I have both known him 30 years. That’s an absolute fact."
He described Trump's reaction to the "Roseanne" drama -- a tweet asking why Disney CEO Bob Iger hasn't apologized to him for ABC's "horrible" criticism over the years -- as "insane," and railed on the president for exacerbating America's anxiety by selling fear instead of unity.
"I have to say this about the president we have, and his gaslighting and lying. You can see him perpetuating mental health issues for the entire country," Arnold said. "Every day he gets on TV and lies and he perpetuates fear and anxiety. He never says, 'Things are great.' He says, 'Oh my gosh, look how dangerous it is in the inner city and black people.'"
"And so Americans are sitting at home, like Roseanne, and her fans are like, 'Oh my God, what is happening out there?' And they get anxiety," he added. "Anyone with mental health issues, like Roseanne, is going to heighten things. And she's having mental health issues right now. I'm sure that's part of this. That doesn't make it OK. They had to cancel the show."
He also made a brief appearance on NBC's "Today" show Thursday morning, once again reiterating he "knew it was going to happen," and urged people to keep an eye on her social media.
"Look at Roseanne’s social media right in this moment — she’s doubled and tripled down," Arnold said. "Somebody needs to stop it right now."