ABC’s reboot of the sitcom Roseanne has drawn headlines for star Roseanne Barr’s decision to make her character a Trump supporter, but Barr’s bizarre off-camera activity has some critics calling for the show to be pulled from the air. In recent weeks, disturbing photos have reemerged of a 2009 photoshoot Barr did for satirical Jewish publication, Heeb, in which the actress can be seen burning gingerbread cookies fashioned to look like people in an oven while dressed as Adolf Hitler. Many, including relatives of victims of the Holocaust, have taken to Twitter to call out Barr — and to suggest a possible boycott of ABC if she isn’t removed from the air.
The photo is real. @therealroseanne burned cookies that looked like people in an oven while dressed as Adolph Hitler. I am actually crying. I think of the anguish of my family. I think of this little boy, Antosh, my sons' great uncle, murdered at 11. One of Roseanne's cookies. pic.twitter.com/rEWWk6ezfW
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) March 29, 2018
In a 2011 appearance on The Green Room with Paul Provenza, Barr appeared unsympathetic to those upset by the photoshoot.
“[The controversy] really pissed me off,” she said. “Because they were like, ‘you’re making fun of the people in the ovens,’ but I’m not making fun of people in the ovens … There’s another, deeper layer to it. You know just the everyday. Moving off this Holocaust. There’s been about 50 of them since then. That’s what I’m kind of trying to say. Is like, Jesus Christ it’s so fucking every day now, Holocausts, it’s like baking cookies…That’s what I’m trying to say. Let’s stop Holocausts.”
Leaving aside the controversial photoshoot, Barr’s Twitter activity has also raised more than a few eyebrows. On the day of the Roseanne premiere, she accused Parkland high school massacre survivor David Hogg of giving a Nazi salute before later retracting the claim. In another recent since-deleted post, she claimed that Trump was breaking up “trafficking rings in high places everywhere” and that he was freeing “hundreds” of “children held in bondage to pimps’ each month. According to The Washington Post, Barr’s claim was referring to the debunked “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory that falsely claimed former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and other high-ranking Democrats are secretly running a child sex slavery network. Barr has also tweeted in an attempt to contact a supposed hacker called QAnon who has claimed that the Omnibus spending bill was secretly an attempt to close the Democrat pedophile ring and that the Las Vegas massacre was an inside job connected to the Clintons — among other dubious unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.
In a statement given to The Hollywood Reporter, Roseanne co-producer Bruce Helford responded to calls for a boycott of the show by suggesting that people try to ignore his star actress’ behavior.
“My feeling is that people should just watch the show and judge it on its merits,” said Helford. “Watch the show without the accompanying background noise.”
The second week of Roseanne saw its ratings slide a bit from it’s much-hyped return to TV, but the show still drew in large amounts of viewers.