After Roseanne Barr’s tweets yesterday, ABC canceled the reboot of her sitcom. Barr was reportedly trying to be funny when she tweeted about Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, but the tweets were simply seen as racist. Wednesday, Barr argued that the tweets were fueled by her use of Ambien. Now the pharmaceutical company that makes the drug has issued a response.
Barr’s tweet said Jarret looked like the “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby.”
She attempted to apologize to Jarrett, writing “i don’t know if u saw it, but I wanted2 apologize to u 4 hurting and upsetting u with an insensitive & tasteless tweet. I am truly sorry-my whole life has been about fighting racism. I made a terrible mistake wh caused hundreds of ppl 2 lose their jobs. so sorry!”
Later she tweeted: “It was 2 in the morning and i was ambien tweeting – it was memorial day.”
Sanofi, the maker of Ambien, didn’t appreciate Barr blaming their drug.
People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world. While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.
— Sanofi US (@SanofiUS) May 30, 2018
“People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world,” the company wrote in a statement. “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”
“Ambien is the brand name for sedative zolpidem and is typically prescribed for insomnia sufferers,” Daily Mail notes.
“The drug is one of the most commonly prescribed in America, outselling painkillers such as Percocet and maximum strength ibuprofen.”
Many people have reported taking the drug and performing routine actions without any memory of having done so. These episodes are euphemistically called “Ambien blackouts.”
“In 2006 congressman Patrick Kennedy cashed his car on Capitol Hill around 2.45 am and gave officers the bizarre excuse that he was rushing for a vote when questioned,” DM notes.
“It later emerged that Kennedy was a heavy user of Ambien and didn’t remember getting into his car, the crash or speaking with the cops.”
Ambien’s own warning label reads “After taking AMBIEN, you may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing.”
“The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night.”
While Barr’s attempt at humor was not well received, the Ambien jokes are now taking off.
“Even Dictionary.com got involved,” DM writes, “choosing this moment to remind readers that the name Ambien is thought ‘to come from the word ‘ambient’ or similar words in French. Ambient does not mean ‘prone to making racist comments,’ but it does mean ‘of the surrounding area or environment’.”
The Wikipedia page for Ambien was altered, too. Now, under side effects, the page says that the drug may racism result in canceled sitcoms.