Roseanne Barr has always been known for her outspoken comedic style, irreverent tone, and brash opinions — bringing her mainstream Hollywood success, along with a trail of public controversy that reached its height with the cancellation of her popular TV series reboot. In the past few years she has also distinguished herself as having a loud pro-Israel voice. Now she is coming to Israel, together with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, for what is certain to be an evening of frank discussion, moderated by The Times of Israel’s Jessica Steinberg, and engaging audience in Q&A. At the event, this coming Monday, January 28, Steinberg will ask Barr about her views on President Donald Trump, Israel, Jewish identity, anti-Semitism, and of course her very public Twitter storms.
Roseanne Barr was born into a Jewish family living in Salt Lake City, Utah, and went on to become one of the most successful female comedians ever, as well as an award-winning actress, writer, producer, and even 2012 US presidential candidate (gaining nearly 70,000 votes on behalf of the Peace and Freedom Party). Barr began her career in stand-up comedy at clubs before gaining critical and popular acclaim in the TV sitcom “Roseanne” (1988–1997; 2018). She won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her work on the show.
After Trump announced his candidacy for president in 2015, the Daily Beast wrote that Barr “veered right” in her politics. When “Roseanne” was revived in 2018 on ABC, Trump called her to congratulate her on her show’s ratings and thank her for her support. She has frequently defended her support of Trump, and has been criticized for her extensive use of personal attacks, conspiracy theories and fake news.
A ratings success, the revived “Roseanne” was initially renewed for an additional season, but was abruptly canceled on May 29, due to a seemingly racist tweet by Barr concerning former President Barack Obama’s adviser Valerie Jarrett, for which she later apologized and to which she and Boteach referred in a joint statement as “an inexcusable — but not unforgivable — mistake.”
Shmuley Boteach served as rabbi at Oxford University in England for 11 years. He is the founder of the World Values Network, an organization which aims to bring Jewish values to mainstream American culture via the media, politics, and the arts. He served as host of the award-winning national TV show Shalom in the Home on TLC, The Shmuley Show on 77 WABC in NYC, and The Rabbi Shmuley Show on the Oprah and Friends Radio Network. He is also the best-selling author of 23 books, including most recently, Renewal: A Guide to the Values-Filled Life and Ten Conversations You Need to Have with Your Children. His book Kosher Sex was an international blockbuster.
The Tel Aviv International Salon is the largest speakers forum in Israel. The nonprofit organization was established in 2009 to provide a challenging and thought-provoking nonpartisan platform for the Tel Aviv young professional community. With an increasing number of motivated young adults from around the globe choosing to make Tel Aviv their home, the Salon provides a unique forum to learn, debate and discuss Israeli, Jewish and world politics, economics, society, and culture with a diverse range of engaging decision makers and leading influencers.