Jarrett birth in Iran makes her Muslim sister.
Barr, who is a strong supporter of Donald Trump, tweeted a message that referred to Jarrett as being a product of the marriage of the Muslim Brotherhood, a seeming reference to her birth in Iran, and an ape, a reference to the fact that Jarrett is African-American.
The slur drew criticism from the right and the left--but not from President Trump, who tweeted about the reaction to Barr's tweet, but not the substance of what she said.
Unexplained in the whole controversy was why Barr tweeted anything Jarrett, who returned to private life 15 months earlier. Barr has not said what prompted her to comment on a person long removed from public life. Many critics said it just showed the extent of the bigotry by right-wingers against the Obama Administration that will not die.
Barr wrote in a now-deleted message that if the Islamist political movement "muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj."
Jarrett has declined to comment. The entertainment website TheWrap speculated the Barr tweet might have been set off by false reports in the rightwing media that Jarrett had said she wanted the United States to become a "more Islamic country." Barr is well-known for tweeting about rightwing conspiracy theories and repeating fake news. Recently, she said Chelsea Clinton, daughter of the former president, was married to a nephew of George Soros. Actually, she is married to the son of former Pennsylvania congresswoman.
Trump waded into the uproar, complaining that an ABC TV executive who apologized for the Barr tweet had turned a deaf ear to criticism of Trump broadcast on the network.
The tweet led Walt Disney Co's ABC network to cancel its hit revival of Barr's "Roseanne" sitcom.
Jarrett said Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger called her before ABC announced the show's cancellation. Jarrett was born in Iran while her African-American parents from Chicago were in Iran working at a hospital in Shiraz. She left Iran when she was about four years old.
Trump tweeted, "Gee, he [Iger] never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn't get the call?" Barr swiftly backtracked. "I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me--my joke was in bad taste."
Barr blamed her late-night message on the sleep aid Ambien. "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," she wrote in a message. "I made a mistake I wish I hadn't but ... don't defend it please."
Ambien's maker, Sanofi, responded Wednesday: "While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication."
Hollywood talent agency ICM has dropped Barr as a client. Several networks and the streaming service Hulu said they would no longer rerun her show.
The original "Roseanne" ran from 1988 to 1997, featuring a blue-collar family, with overweight parents struggling to get by. It was praised for its realistic portrayal of working-class life.
The current "Roseanne" was ABC's biggest hit of the 2017-2018 season.