Nearly a year ago, Roseanne Barr got herself in serious trouble after she posted a racist tweet about former President Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. The move also famously led ABC to cancel her eponymous rebooted sitcom and fire her from the network.
Yet despite months of explanations mixed in with apologies concerning that fateful tweet, Roseanne — who's still tweeting under her own name — just admitted that she's also tweeting controversial missives anonymously so she doesn't spark backlash again.
TMZ caught up with the politically minded comedian at LAX Airport in Los Angeles on May 20 where she freely admitted, "I have a lot of troll accounts so I say what a want under anonymous names." Under these anonymous accounts, "I say the stuff I want to say," she added.
She doesn't employ others to tweet for her on either her public account or her burner ones. "I do it all," she said, though she did not reveal what, exactly, she tweets about under her "troll" accounts.
Roseanne also said she doesn't think she's the only famous person who operates on social media in this way. "I think everybody's got troll backup accounts," she told TMZ. "Really, if they want to say anything."
In May 2018, Roseanne made headlines when she posted a controversial tweet in the middle of the night that read, "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj." Roseanne, who quickly took the tweet down and apologized, later claimed she didn't know Valerie was black and blamed the tweet on her use of the sleep aid Ambien.
Two days after Roseanne torpedoed her show — and her TV career — with the racist tweet, she called into a friend's podcast to give her first post-scandal interview when she was in the throes of regret. That friend — Rabbi Shmuley Boteach — waited several weeks to actually share the audio publicly.
"I'm a lot of things. I'm a loudmouth and all that stuff, but I'm not stupid, for God's sake, and I never would have wittingly called a black person… say they are a monkey. I never would do that! And I didn't do that," Roseanne told her friend of more than 20 years through tears on the podcast that aired in June 2018.
"I am so sorry that I was so unclear and stupid. I'm very sorry but I don't think that, I never would do that," Roseanne insisted in the interview. "I've lost everything. And I regretted it before I lost everything and I said to God, 'I am willing to accept whatever consequences this brings because I know I've done wrong.' I'm willing to accept what the consequences are. And, I do. And I have."
Days before the podcast aired, ABC ordered a 10-episode "Roseanne" spinoff, "The Conners," that started airing in the fall of 2018. The move came after Roseanne reached an agreement with the network and signed off on the new sitcom. Under the terms, she does not have creative input into the new show or benefit from it financially, despite a previous deal ensuring both.
"I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from 'Roseanne.' I agreed to the settlement in order that 200 jobs of beloved cast and crew could be saved, and I wish the best for everyone involved," she said in a statement at the time.