Former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett responds to Roseanne's tweet: 'It’s a teaching moment’

The woman at the heart of a racist tweet from comedian Roseanne Barr that got her show cancelled says we need to learn from Tuesday’s incident.

“I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment.” Valerie Jarrett told NBC News.

“Roseanne” was cancelled earlier Tuesday after the titular star of the show sent out a series of posts on Twitter that the network called “abhorrent” and others called “racist.”


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Barr had criticized Jarrett’s looks in a now-deleted tweet in which she compared Jarrett to an ape and the Muslim Brotherhood, to which she has no relation.

Barr is a noted fan of U.S. President Donald Trump — as is her sitcom character — and has made many acerbic comments about former President Obama and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Roseanne, who also attacked Chelsea Clinton and George Soros in a Twitter tirade Tuesday, later apologized and announced she was leaving Twitter.

WATCH: ‘Roseanne’ Cancelled After Racist Tweets

Jarrett made the comments ahead of a town hall on MSNBC called “Everyday Racism,” which airs Tuesday night and will tackle “the current state of race relations in America through the prism of several recent events, including the arrest of two African-American men at a Philadelphia Starbucks,” MSNBC said in a release.

“I’m fine, I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and followers who come right to their defence,” Jarrett said.


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“The person who’s walking down the street minding their own business and they see somebody cling to their purse, or cross the street, or every black parent I know who has a boy who has to sit down and have a conversation — ‘the talk,’ as we call it — and as you say, those ordinary examples of racism that happen every day.”

Jarrett also told NBC news that ABC CEO Bob Iger called her before announcing that the show was cancelled, saying there was “zero tolerance” for the comments.

WATCH: People react after ‘Roseanne’ cancelled following racist tweet

Who is Valerie Jarett?

Jarrett worked as a senior advisor to former U.S. president Barack Obama. She was also the former chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls and oversaw the offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs.

She graduated as a lawyer from the University of Michigan in 1981, and held many high-profile positions in the City of Chicago.

Her Twitter account says she’s “now an advocate for equity and justice” and she’s a contributor to The Hill, a political news website.

Her name was brought up on Twitter when someone criticized the Obama administration. That’s when Barr joined the conversation and made the comments.

*with a file from Chris Jancelewitz 

 

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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