After Roseanne Barr posted a racially charged tweet saying former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett was a cross between the “Muslim brotherhood” and an ape, ABC dropped the Roseanne reboot. Barr was also dropped by her talent agency, ICM Partners. But conservatives are now calling for a Bill Maher boycott for similar remarks he made in the past about President Trump.
The comedian, back in 2013, insinuated that Trump was an orangutan, and conservatives are arguing that he didn’t reap any consequences.
Why are conservatives calling for a Bill Maher boycott?
Here’s how it all went down. Maher made an appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” in January 2013. After noting that the only thing in nature resembling Trump’s hair was that of an orangutan, Maher offered a $5 million donation to the charity of the president’s choice if Trump produced a birth certificate to prove he was not part ape.
I’m so old I remember when Bill Maher claimed President Trump’s “mother had sex with an orangutan” and kept his job pic.twitter.com/WWQIFhZbnO
— Jack Posobiec?? (@JackPosobiec) May 29, 2018
According to Reuters, a letter to Maher from Trump’s lawyer read, “Attached hereto is a copy of Mr. Trump’s birth certificate, demonstrating that he is the son of Fred Trump, not an orangutan.” Trump then filed a lawsuit against him, but withdrew eight weeks later.
Watch Maher discuss this below:
Maher talked about this lawsuit on his HBO show, Real Time with Bill Maher. He defended his comments, saying that they were a “parody” and a “joke,” and that he only made the donation offer because Trump had done this in the past in regards to Obama releasing documentation. Not only has Trump challenged Obama’s citizenship, but he’s also offered to give $5 million to charity if the former president released his college records.
In terms of the Bill Maher boycott, some want him fired, period. And others are also arguing that the cancellation of Barr’s show has to do with the fact that she’s a Trump supporter.
Charlie Kirk, executive director and founder of the ring-wing nonprofit Turning Point USA, tweeted, “Wait, Bill Maher makes comparisons to Trump being a gorilla all the time? They get classified as ‘jokes’ by the media and he is of course allowed to keep his show and not have his life ruined. The difference? Bill Maher is a liberal, Roseanne is a free-thinking Trump supporter.”
Wait, Bill Maher makes comparisons to Trump being a gorilla all the time?
They get classified as “jokes” by the media and he is of course allowed to keep his show and not have his life ruined
Bill Maher is a liberal, Roseanne is a free-thinking Trump supporter
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) May 29, 2018
Back in 2002, Maher’s ABC show, Politically Incorrect, was dropped by the network after he made controversial comments about 9/11. According to Bustle, he said that labeling terrorists as cowards was hypocritical because “we have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away.”
One Twitter user pointed this out, arguing that ABC treated Barr and Maher “both the same.”
Conservatives are out here grasping for straws, trying to compare Roseanne to Bill Maher.
Um…ABC CANCELED Bill Maher’s show after he made a joke about 9/11. No double standard here. ABC treated them both the same.
— Emilia (@PoliticalEmilia) May 29, 2018
Roseanne Barr blames her racist tweet on Ambien
After Barr deactivated, then reactivated, her Twitter account, she released an apology on her feed and also retweeted many messages of support from her fans. (Trump even released a statement.)
I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me-my joke was in bad taste.
— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 29, 2018
In a tweet that has since been deleted, she wrote, “Guys I did something unforgiveable so do not defend me. It was 2 in the morning and i was ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended-it was egregious indefensible. I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but… don’t defend it please. ty.”
It was the sedative Ambien, she argued, that resulted in her racist language.
Sanofi, the maker of Ambien, responded with this statement via CNN: “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”