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Drugmaker to Roseanne after she blames tweet on pills: "Racism is not a known side effect"

Photo: Astrid Stawiarz (Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Remember that episode of Roseanne where Roseanne said something deeply racist on Twitter, faced a massive public outcry, and dealt with actual consequences for her behavior? Neither do we, but replace “that episode of Roseanne” with “the other night,” and suddenly—depressingly—it makes perfect sense. Such has been the case for Roseanne Barr, who quickly owned up to and apologized for an offensive tweet comparing former Obama advisor Valerie Jarret to a combination of “muslim brotherhood” and Planet Of the Apes.

Of course, once Barr’s show was canceled by ABC, that apology was soon followed by a torrent of confusing retweets and prevarications, including several efforts to paint her original comment in a less negative light, primarily by the actor arguing that she’s not really racist, it’s just that taking Ambien made her that way. “It was 2 in the morning and I was Ambien tweeting,” reads one of her tweets (there’s screenshots in case you want to see it yourself, though we’d recommend looking at some adorable pictures of dogs instead), and she went on to mention the drug a couple times. CNN notes a later tweet in which she says, “Not giving excuses for what I did(tweeted) but I’ve done weird stuff while on ambien—cracked eggs on the wall at 2am etc.” If you’re the maker of Ambien, this is probably not the publicity you’re hoping to get this week. (Of course, if you’re the maker of Ambien, you are very, very used to bad publicity.)


As a result, Sanofi, the company which makes Ambien, delivered a response more akin to a late-night talk show burn on the comedian than a PR release:

While this is certainly the best response to Barr’s equivocations and excuses (she really should’ve just stopped at the apology), others on social media will certainly continue dunking on the former ABC star for the near future. Take it away, Dictionary.com.


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Alex McLevy

Alex McLevy is a writer and editor at The A.V. Club, and would kindly appreciate additional videos of robots failing to accomplish basic tasks.