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Drug maker replies to Roseanne Barr tweet

roseanne barr

Pharmaceutical company Sanofi has slapped back at Roseanne Barr after she blamed sleep aid Ambien for an offensive tweet, saying "racism is not a known side effect" of its products.

The tweet led the ABC network to cancel its hit revival of the Roseanne sitcom, whose popularity President Donald Trump has cited as evidence his supporters, who include Barr, want shows that speak to their concerns.

Barr sparked widespread anger, including at ABC, with a since-deleted tweet comparing Valerie Jarrett, an adviser to President Barack Obama, to an ape. Barr wrote that if the Islamist political movement "muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj."

Late Tuesday and into Wednesday morning Barr called that message "unforgiveable."

"It was 2 in the morning and I was Ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended-it was egregious Indefensible," she wrote in a message that has since been deleted. "I made a mistake I wish I hadn't but...don't defend it please."

Sanofi responded Wednesday morning.

"People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world," its US arm said on Twitter. "While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication."

The original Roseanne ran from 1988 to 1997, featuring a blue-collar family, the Conners, with overweight parents struggling to get by. It was praised for its realistic portrayal of working-class life.

The current incarnation was ABC's biggest hit of the 2017-2018 season, drawing an average 18.7 million viewers, second only to The Big Bang Theory.

Trump himself weighed in on the cancellation on Wednesday, noting Disney CEO Bob Iger had called Jarrett but did not contact him when ABC aired controversial statements about his presidency.

"Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that "ABC does not tolerate comments like those" made by Roseanne Barr," he tweeted. "Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn't get the call?"

© AP 2018 Photo credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File