UPDATED 4:25 PM: Michael Moore has expanded on Tuesday’s rather cryptic social media posts in which he teased a “secret project” he’s been working on and named Donald Trump and Roseanne Barr. In a lengthy, empathetic new post today, the Oscar-winning filmmaker talks about knowing Barr for 25 years but how she “has been in a downward spiral” the past few years, leading up to her “hateful, slanderous [and] totally nuts” Twitter rants this week. Calling her a “damaged soul” and saying she “seems to be suffering from some sort of madness,” he priases the now-canceled Roseanne revival — which he says should continue without her — but laments, “If only her art could have helped her in real life.” Read his full post below.
Moore also writes: “Here’s who’s not crazy: Donald J. Trump. … He’s the real deal. His racism and hate is real, it’s well thought-out, he’s the true master of manipulation, a brilliant performance artist, and an evil genius. He outsmarted a nation of liberals and Democrats and won the White House by losing the actual vote of the people. He neutered and then destroyed the Grand Old Republican Party. He knows exactly what he is doing.
Here is the full text of Moore’s post today, followed by our story from Wednesday:
I have known Roseanne Barr for over 25 years. I’ve known her as Roseanne Barr, Roseanne Arnold, just “Roseanne”, then back to Roseanne Barr. I’ve spent time in her home, criss-crossed the country with her to help remove George W. Bush from the White House, appeared on her shows, been there for her when she needed something, and connected her with one of my producers who did an insightful, one-of-a-kind documentary into the genius and the tragedy that is Roseanne Barr.
On Tuesday Roseanne posted hateful, slanderous tweets directed at four people: George Soros, Valerie Jarrett, Chelsea Clinton and me. A few hours later, she was fired by ABC.
For the past few years, Roseanne has been posting the craziest stuff on Twitter, like claiming Hillary was part of a child sex abuse ring being run out of a DC pizza place. She’s claimed that the Clintons have murdered people. And anyone who criticizes Benjamin Netanyahu is a “nazi.”
Roseanne seems to be suffering from some sort of madness. It’s more than just saying she’s a racist. She operates in the same sewer of lies, conspiracy theories and bigotry that’s been rising in America for years and that has now succeeded in electing our current president. Totally nuts.
Here’s who’s not crazy: Donald J. Trump.
Trump, though he shows all the signs of being absolutely bonkers, is not insane. He’s the real deal. His racism and hate is real, it’s well thought-out, he’s the true master of manipulation, a brilliant performance artist, and an evil genius. He outsmarted a nation of liberals and Democrats and won the White House by losing the actual vote of the people. He neutered and then destroyed the Grand Old Republican Party. He knows exactly what he is doing.
Roseanne, on the other hand, is a person who long ago broke through and brought an authentic voice of working women and men to television via one of the greatest TV series of all time. It was groundbreaking because the TV industry had historically either ignored, ridiculed or patronized those of us who grew up in the working class. Roseanne changed that.
But she is also a damaged soul. Most people don’t know that she has suffered her entire life from a massive head injury she received during a serious car accident when she was a child. Her brain injuries were immense and she spent months in the hospital struggling to recover.
I also have no idea what it was like to grow up, as she did, as a Jewish girl in Salt Lake City. Not a tolerant state, to be sure. She told me how her parents, who owned an apartment building, were asked by the U.S. government after World War II if they would be willing to house Holocaust survivors who had come to the U.S. as refugees. Her parents took dozens in, and Roseanne’s childhood was spent with these survivors as her “family.” “The stories they told me,” she said, “were filled with unimaginable horror. I’ve always wondered what effect that had on me as a little girl.”
Now, sadly, for the past few years, Roseanne has been in a downward spiral, ranting like crazy on Twitter, spreading conspiracy theories, attacking the people she used to love, supporting Trump, and being just an outright hateful and racist person. It has been a difficult decline to witness. She has repeatedly attacked me, and on Tuesday, after calling George Soros a “Nazi” (he’s a Jew and a Holocaust survivor), Valerie Jarrett an offspring “of the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes,” and saying that Chelsea was “married to” a Nazi relative of George Soros, she then retweeted a disgusting new word for me because I have spoken out against the Netanyahu government and its killing of Palestinians — “#JewHater“. Nonstop insanity and sickness.
I guess there might be 20 million Americans (out of 320 million) who probably agree with her. She has thrown down with the lowest of the low, and who knows if she’ll ever recover from this descent into her own personal hell.
To close, I want to say just how great the new Roseanne show was. It was funny but brutal to watch because it showed how our system of greed has hurt millions of families like the Connors of Illinois. On the final episode last week, Roseanne was addicted to opioids because she couldn’t afford the knee surgery she needed, so she suffered along in agonizing pain. Dan, her husband, in order to raise money for her surgery, decided to take a non-union job — and Roseanne berates him for doing so and letting his union brothers and sisters down. There are a couple quick knocks on Trump, making it clear that the real Roseanne was not writing or running this show. For the past 9 weeks, the new Roseanne show has shined a powerful and necessary light on what it means to be working class in 2018. Her blended family on this new series was white and black and LGBTQ, and her generous neighbors next door were Muslims who forced her to confront her own bigotry.
If only her art could have helped her in her real life.
(Also, let me say this: There’s no reason the show has to go just because she’s gone. Over the years, TV has found ways to bring Bobby Ewing back from the dead on “Dallas”, forced us to accept the two Darrins on “Bewitched”, and found ways for hit shows to survive when their stars bolted after a year or two [David Caruso on “NYPD Blue”, Pernell Roberts on “Bonanza”]. The smart people who were writing this Roseanne series can surely find a way to let the non-bigoted portion of the America’s working class [which I can tell you is the VAST majority] have their voice heard on network television. Why should it be silenced by one lost soul?)
PREVIOUSLY, May 30: Michael Moore appears to be mad as hell and not about to take it anymore. The pot-stirring documentarian/activist posted a cryptic message on his website and Facebook page today that teases a new “secret project” Moore says he’s been working on for months.
The text of Moore’s Facebook post reads, in part: “Roseanne, the viscous slur at me you retweeted yesterday — if I had the time I’d sue you and drain you of every dime you have. But I’ve got a better idea. As they say in the movies: one down, one to go.” Read his full post below.
Both sites include video from a 1998 episode of Barr’s long-gone syndicated talker The Roseanne Show, one that features her interviewing Moore — she calls him “my blue-collar panelist” — alongside one Donald J. Trump. There’s also this text: “I know Roseanne. I know Trump. And they are about to rue the day they ever knew me.” The video is below.
The “secret project” might be Fahrenheit 11/9, the project Moore unveiled at Cannes last year whose title “commemorates” the day Trump pulled off a shocking victory to become U.S. president. That project focuses on how it happened and all the chaos that followed in Trump’s first year in office.
Fahrenheit 11/9 has been tied up in the Weinstein Company mess. At Cannes 2017, Bob and Harvey Weinstein weren’t sure whether the film would be a theatrical release through TWC — or another distributor — or a combination of theatrical and prestige broadcast play.
Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. moderated the Cannes presentation of Fahrenheit 11/9, at which Moore appeared from New York via a video feed. Positioned high in an office with the Trump Towers as his backdrop, he divulged limited specific details but was highly enthusiastic as he talked about some of the research he had uncovered about Trump and his election victory, which Moore notably predicted well ahead of time. He promised that the film would put the president on his heels, and Moore expected to have the docu ready for the anniversary of Trump’s upset victory.
There was no mention of Barr, howwer.
The Bowling for Columbine Oscar winner, whose films also include Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko, Roger & Me and most recently Michael Moore in TrumpLand, also posted this thinly veiled threat/promise on his Facebook page:
So Roseanne Barr woke up yesterday morning & posted hateful, slanderous tweets about me, Valerie Jarrett, George Soros & Chelsea Clinton — and within hours, ABC fired her. The same ABC who hired her after years of her posting other tweets saying Hillary was running a child sex abuse ring out of a pizza restaurant in DC, that the Clintons had murdered people, and anyone who criticized Benjamin Netanyahu was a Nazi. The same Roseanne who referred to black people (even back then) as apes, and Arabs as, well, every racist thing you can imagine. That Roseanne. Like Trump, she went on a Wild White Racist tear during the Obama years.
Did you ever wonder why, in 2011, NBC didn’t fire Donald Trump when he launched his racist birther movement, declaring the President a Kenyan and a Muslim?
Roseanne, the viscous slur at me you retweeted yesterday — if I had the time I’d sue you and drain you of every dime you have. But I’ve got a better idea. As they say in the movies: one down, one to go.
Here is the video posted on Moore site and Facebook page:
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.