“I feel that what happened to me, a large part of it is anti-Semitism,” the 66-year-old Jewish actress told the Jerusalem Post in a phone interview on Thursday from her home in Hawaii.
“I think it played a part – the fact that I was never allowed to explain what I meant – and what I meant was a commentary on Iran – so they purposely mischaracterized what I said and wouldn’t let me explain,” she continued.
“And in haste they did something unprecedented that they’ve never done to any other artist. And at the base of that I think it’s because I am the most vocal person about Israel and BDS,” the pro-Israel activist added, referring to the boycott, divest and sanctions movement.
The BDS campaign promotes boycotting Israel and its products until the Jewish state removes settlements from the West Banks.
ABC canceled Barr’s rebooted sitcom in May 2018 after she launched a racist tirade on Twitter in which she compared former Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape and claimed George Soros was a Nazi sympathizer.
Actor John Goodman said it wasn’t the same without her on the show.
“It was really odd,” Goodman, who plays Barr’s TV husband Dan, told Seth Meyers on Thursday. “We used to have a lot of fun on the show, and I really missed her this year.”
He added: “She gave up a lot so that we could do the show. She gave up all her rights to it so we didn’t have to call ourselves the ‘Monners’ or the ‘Chonners’ and invent new characters. But yeah, she will always be missed.”
In the interview with the Israeli news outlet, Barr said the network honchos treated her unfairly because she is Jewish and supports Israel.
“What I said was mischaracterized purposely and repeatedly, so they didn’t even know what I meant, but they wanted to shape it and they did – they said it was something racial, when it was actually something political,” she said.
“And I have never in my life done anything racist, and I think my career proves that. And they did it so quickly – to fire and label and slander my name. I think it had a lot to do with identifying with Israel.”
Barr is expected to visit Israel later this month, accompanied by her friend and mentor Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. She plans to speak at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, on Jan. 31.
“She wrote one tweet, she apologized for it, she cried, she asked Valerie Jarett publicly for forgiveness, she humbled herself,” Boteach told the newspaper.
Barr, who said she was exposed to a lot of anti-Semitism growing up in, told the paper that she turned to Judaism in earnest during the past year and studies Torah regularly with Boteach.
“It is something that I always turn to, and it strengthened my resolve to become more public about it,” she said. “I decided that this was the time to stand up to be counted.”