Twitter is not sleeping on Roseanne Barr's bizarre excuse for a racist comment that resulted in the cancellation of her eponymous reboot "Roseanne." Turns out, side effects of blaming a drug for racism include over 238,000 tweets making fun of you.
In a since-deleted tweet after the termination of her titular show by ABC, the (former) sitcom star claimed she was "Ambien tweeting" when she wrote a racist comment comparing an African-American former White House adviser to an ape.
Barr's original tweet read, "It was two in the morning and I was Ambien tweeting -- it was Memorial Day too -- I went too far and do not want it defended; it was egregious, indefensible. I made a mistake I wish I hadn't but... don't defend it please."
She later deleted that post and replaced it with another, in response to someone criticizing her Ambien excuse, claiming she was not blaming the drug, per se, for her original tweet.
no, i didnt i blamed myself. stop lying. Yes, I have had odd ambien experiences on tweeting late at night-like many other ppl do. I BLAME MYSELF OK? it's just an explanation not an excuse, Ok, bully?
Among those clapping back at the former sitcom star was Sanofi, the manufacturer of insomnia drug Ambien. In a perfectly dry and official statement, the pharmaceutical company made it very clear that racism is not a side effect of any of their drugs.
People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world. While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.
Even Wikipedia got in on the fun, though probably not at the behest of the company itself. The crowd-sourced Internet encyclopedia lets regular users update its entries, and someone did just that after Roseanne's Ambien excuse tweet. A new statement was added, updating the drug's side effects.
The addition, which has since been deleted, stated, "In 2018, the American Roseanne Barr made the public aware of a number of previously undisclosed side effects to Zolpidem (aka Ambien) including: racism, Trump-tweeting, anthem-spitting, unpatriotic crotch grabbing, public irritation, political agitation, sore losing, sore winning, special election upsets, butt-hurt, hate, avalanches, and loss of sitcom."
After the initial tweetstorm on Monday night, Barr had apologized and tweeted that she would not be returning to Twitter, but that didn't last the day. Overnight on Tuesday, she drafted several additional apologies, or "explanations," before deleting them and trying again. And while Barr's original Ambien-blaming tweet is gone, much like her deleted racist tweet, its legacy lives on.
Below are some of the best comments from Hollywood and beyond after Barr scapegoated Ambien for her racist tweet.
When you are awake at 4:30 in the morning for no GD reason and you check Twitter to find that (on the day you need her most) your good pal Ambien is being dragged through the mud pic.twitter.com/Uw7OB4ZYy1
The name Ambien is thought to come from the word "ambient" or similar words in French. Ambient does not mean "prone to making racist comments," but it does mean "of the surrounding area or environment." https://t.co/UpYY5eKzIo https://t.co/XsPn8FthV5
Roseanne claims she was on Ambien at the time of her tweet. Sanofi-Aventis quickly amended their ads to include “may cause racism, ignorance, bigotry, support of authoritarians and demagogues, and loss of a hit television show. See your psychiatrist for assistance.”
Ambien has quite a few side effects but racism isn't one of them. Even if Roseanne wanted to claim she had an Ambien blackout and was sleep tweeting, that racism had to come from somewhere deep within.