Tales from the Twitterati…
So, it seems that even Roseanne Barr felt she’d gone too far with an allegedly racist tweet when alluding to former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett as an ape. But, of course, it wasn’t really racism; no, it was a sedative she’d taken wot dun it – a branded pharmaceutical by the name of Ambien.
The brand manufacturer’s response to her claims was blunt and to the point:
“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“.
I’d never actually heard of Ambien before, a brand name for Zolpidem (that I’d never heard of either), but by sheer coincidence it arose again the very same day in an entirely different context.
Long story short: In an episode of The Simpsons from 2007, Homer takes sleeping pills and becomes, according to Bart:
“every boy’s dream: a fat, suggestible zombie dad“.
Homer’s sedative of choice is called ‘Nappien‘, but Lisa’s character gives away the writers’ game when she says:
“I’ve read that people do strange things in their sleep when they’ve taken Ambien… I mean Nappien“.
… a none-too-subtle reference to the frenzied defence a number of politicians, celebrities and murderers have used for their highly publicised transgressions.
Perhaps Barr should have researched the drug’s side effects before blaming it for her tweet, as they seem to involve unconscious physical behaviours and not wilful rants about people with whom you disagree politically and about whom you publicly tweet your prejudices.
At best Barr could argue that the drug reduced her inhibitions to saying what she truly believed, but that doesn’t help her case either!
Her bigoted words were a smear
And the backlash was truly severe
But never blame pills
For illiberal ills
If you racistly tweet loud and clear!