Director Judd Apatow and Roseanne Barr go back professionally 20 years.
The famed film director once helped out writing and producing one of her comedy specials back in the '90s. They've remained friendly over the years, so much so that she was interviewed by the "40-Year-Old Virgin" director for his recent book, "Sick in the Head," featuring in-depth interviews of popular comedians. Apatow hasn't talked to Roseanne in a while, and has since been blocked by her on Twitter, however he's still attempting to understand why his "old friend" regularly fires off racist rants online—eventually leading to ABC cancelling the hit "Roseanne" reboot.
Apatow points out that the main possible reason could be her mental state.
"I think you have a person who's in a moment of success and maybe that's uncomfortable for her, and whatever urges she has to be rebellious have overtaken her in some way," he told Vanity Fair in a new interview. "I haven't spoken to her recently to know where her head's at generally, but I see it more as someone who's crying out for help than someone who's a hateful person … for the most part, I hope she's okay and I feel bad for people who got hurt in that. Everyone who worked with her, it's tragic."
When asked if ABC made the right decision in cancelling the "Roseanne" reboot, the "Knocked Up" director didn't have an answer, opting rather to look further into why it's a mental health issue.
"She's not really built to be on top of that pyramid, in charge of a lot of people, responsible for them, because she has her own struggles. I've never heard her say anything that was racist in decades," Apatow continued. "So I don't know where that comes from. It's as mysterious to me as anybody else. But there's a lot of people who get pulled into these worlds of conspiracies and I really don't understand it because all she was was a proponent of women … the only way I can process it is, in some way, Roseanne is in some sort of altered state of her mind. And I just hope that she finds her way back to the values that were really important to her when I first met her."
ABC was granted official permission this week to go ahead with a spinoff of "Roseanne" titled "The Conners," which is scheduled to air this fall. A spokesman for the network assured that Barr will have "no financial or creative involvement in the new series."