Roseanne Barr, the controversial Jewish comedian and former star of the working-class family sitcom Roseanne, denied the Holocaust and espoused other conspiracy theories on a recent episode of the podcast “This Past Weekend” hosted by comedian Theo Von.
The two-and-a-half-hour interview, which aired on June 14, went viral Tuesday after social media unearthed a clip of Barr’s Holocaust denial.
After suggesting that social media platforms manipulate the truth by banning select accounts, Barr said, “Nobody died in the Holocaust, either. That’s the truth.” She continued: “It should happen — 6 million Jews should die right now because they cause all the problems in the world, but it never happened.”
Von, who had been nodding along, said “You’re part Jewish, right?”
“I’m all Jewish. 100 percent,” Barr, whose grandmother lost her family in the Holocaust, responded.
Barr later said, in response to prompting by Von, that Jews started Hollywood and have since run it like “an organized crime network.”
“Was it weird when Hollywood went against you because you’re Jewish?” Von asked.
“Well, Hollywood Jews don’t like Jews, let’s be real,” Barr responded, “I’m a Jew and I got fired from Jewish Hollywood.”
In 2018, Barr was fired from the reboot of Roseanne — since renamed The Conners — over racist comments she had posted on social media. When ABC executives announced that the show would continue without her, Barr claimed that she was ousted due to antisemitism.
Antisemitism isn’t a joke and the Holocaust is not a subject for sarcasm.
Regardless of intent, Roseanne Barr’s conspiracy theories fuel anti-Jewish hatred.@TheoVon, as host, failed to condemn this dangerous and shocking rhetoric.
— American Jewish Committee (@AJCGlobal) June 27, 2023
“I’m not the right kind of Jew,” Barr said on the podcast, showing off the ring she was wearing adorned with the evil eye. “I’m a Jew-y Jew. I’m the scary kind.”
Barr was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, where her family tried to conceal their Jewish identity and were active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, despite observing Jewish customs at home. In her 1989 memoir, My Life as a Woman, Barr wrote that being the only Jewish girl in school growing up left her feeling paranoid.
Sarcasm or not, Roseanne Barr’s comments about Jews and the Holocaust are reprehensible and irresponsible. This isn’t funny. And shame on Theo Von for letting it go unchallenged and instead diving into conspiracy theories about Jews and Hollywood.
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) June 27, 2023
Throughout her career, Barr’s relationship to Jewish identity has fluctuated. In 2008, she was criticized for calling Israel a “Nazi state” due to its treatment of Palestinians. She’s since become a pro-Israel advocate and was invited to speak out against the boycott, divest and sanctions movement at the Knesset in 2018. In 2016, Barr declared herself a Hebrew priestess and launched a “Women’s Temple for transformation and tikkun olam” in Hawaii. Perhaps most controversially, Barr dressed up as Hitler baking burnt gingerbread cookies for a 2009 photoshoot for the now-defunct Jewish magazine Heeb.