Ambien Drug Maker to Roseanne: ‘Racism Not a Known Side Effect’

Actress Roseanne Barr eats cookies onstage at the MTV Networks Upfront at the Paramount Th
Scott Gries/Getty Images

The producer of the sedative drug Ambien said “racism is not a known side effect” of their medication after actress Roseanne Barr claimed it might have affected her judgment when she made a racist remark about former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett.

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

Barr, 65, sparked outrage on Tuesday after describing Jarrett as the product of the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes. She later apologized for the remark and said she was “Ambien tweeting.”

“Guys I did something unforgiveable so do not defend me,” she wrote in a now-deleted tweet. “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. I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but…don’t defend it please. ty.”

She later explained that Ambien, which is typically used to treat people with insomnia, had caused her to do “weird stuff” such as cracking eggs against a wall.

“Not giving excuses for what I did but I’ve done weird stuff while on Ambien — cracked eggs on the wall at 2am etc,” she wrote later.

In response to her remark, ABC Entertainment canceled the revival of Barr’s hit show, Roseanne, which had scored historically high ratings after an over 20-year hiatus.

“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said in a statement Tuesday.

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