On the evening of 28 May 2018 and into the early morning hours of the following day, comedian Roseanne Barr kicked off a Twitter storm that included gratuitous insults and the repetition of long-debunked conspiracy theories when she tweeted the phrase “Chelsea Soros Clinton,” a reference to a two-year-old rumor (apparently started by actor Scott Baio) that former first daughter Chelsea Clinton was married to a nephew of Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros:
Others tweeted back and took the errant Barr to task and point her to corrective information about this false claim from Snopes.com:
Except she's not. You could stop spreading lies, especially those with anti-Semitic overtones. https://t.co/i39EuEcuLI
— Anne Lutz Fernandez (@lutzfernandez) May 29, 2018
Chelsea Clinton also issued a humorous tweet to set the record straight about the familial connections of her spouse:
Good morning Roseanne – my given middle name is Victoria. I imagine George Soros’s nephews are lovely people. I’m just not married to one. I am grateful for the important work @OpenSociety does in the world. Have a great day! https://t.co/mXokiTEwN7
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) May 29, 2018
Unfortunately, Ms. Barr’s tepid apology to Chelsea Clinton presented yet another false Soros-related rumor:
Sorry to have tweeted incorrect info about you!I Please forgive me! By the way, George Soros is a nazi who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered in German concentration camps & stole their wealth-were you aware of that? But, we all make mistakes, right Chelsea?
— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 29, 2018
Roseanne then doubled down by tweeting and retweeting more Soros conspiracy theory, as well as a stream of insults directed at CNN political commentator Chris Cillizza, Hillary Clinton, and former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett:
This morning Roseanne Barr "joked" about Valerie Jarrett being a cross between Planet of the Apes and the Muslim Brotherhood. pic.twitter.com/3swvEx4B8H
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) May 29, 2018
The comedian eventually tweeted a much more sincere-sounding apology to “Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans,” acknowledging that her “joke” about the former was in “bad taste”:
Roseanne ended her social media fusillade by issuing a more general apology and announcing that she was “leaving Twitter”:
A few hours after Barr’s Twitter sign-off, ABC issued the stunning announcement that they were cancelling the rebooted ‘Roseanne’ series.