Valerie Jarrett on ‘The Conners’ reboot: ‘This really isn’t about me’

Posted at 12:51 PM, Oct 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-20 14:51:53-04

The woman who was the target of racist tweets that led to Roseanne Barr’s firing from her namesake sitcom says “it really isn’t about” her.

In an interview on “The Van Jones Show” that will air at 7 p.m. ET, Saturday on CNN, Valerie Jarrett said, “This really isn’t about me. I’m fine. I have a lot of folks who love me and look after me, but I’m far more worried about those who don’t.”

“Those who are vulnerable, those who suffer from the daily, seemingly benign but actually quite hostile examples of racism,” continued the former senior adviser to Barack Obama, hypothetically citing “the teenager who’s shopping in a store and is followed around by the security or teenage boys who have people cross the other side of the street when they walk by or run the risk of not holding their hands exactly where they should when they’re driving the car.

“I think we have to be prepared to have an uncomfortable conversation in this country,” she said to Jones.

In May, ABC canceled its hit sitcom “Roseanne” after Barr went on a racist Twitter rant. In one of the tweets, she wrote, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” Barr was responding to a comment about Jarrett.

At the time, Jarrett called to turn the event into a “teaching moment” and Barr said she’d been on Ambien when she sent the tweets in question. Later, she said she regretted sending them.

“There’s no excuse. I don’t excuse it,” Barr said. “It’s an explanation. I was impaired you know.”

In June, ABC decided to continue the show without Barr, killing off her character and calling the spinoff “The Conners.” The show premiered this week to 10.5 million viewers, making it the top series debut this season, according to the network.

“I missed it,” Jarrett told Jones. “I have been traveling all over the country, so I did miss it.”