Roseanne Barr, who found herself in a swirl of controversy over a racist tweet after an initially successful reboot of her television show, is a very wealthy woman from her comedic sitcom, its syndication, and other sources.
How rich is Roseanne Barr? Her television sitcom, Roseanne, has left her a great fortune, and that was before she kicked off a 2018 version of it. However, Barr found herself embroiled in a controversy on May 29, 2018 after she wrote a racist tweet comparing an African-American adviser of former President Barack Obama to an ape. ABC then cancelled Roseanne’s show. “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 released on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. Over the years, Roseanne’s fortune was also reduced by messy divorces.
Roseanne Barr Net Worth: $80 Million
Most sites that estimate celebrities’ net worth put Roseanne Barr’s fortune at around $80 million. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Roseanne Barr “is an American comedian, actress, writer, television producer, and director who has a net worth of $80 million.” Roseanne’s salary for her sitcom reboot in 2018 was estimated at $250,000 for each of nine episodes.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Roseanne’s Large Fortune Derives Mostly From Her Successful Sitcom
Roseanne Barr has made a fortune creating programming that features a working class family, but she is no longer working class herself. Her estimated net worth of $80 million derives from “the smash hit sitcom Roseanne which originally aired from 1988 to 1997 and was revived in 2018,” Celebrity Net Worth reports.
Part of the reason for the riches: The longevity of the sitcom. “The show aired 224 episodes and has been popular in syndication,” Celebrity Net Worth reports. In 1997, Slate Magazine reported that Roseanne Barr was already earning $21 million a year from the popular show.
According to Slate, “Between its 1988 launch and 1993, Roseanne ranked among the three highest-rated shows on television. It transcended demographics.” In the last two years of her show’s first run, Roseanne earned more money than any other Hollywood television star except Oprah Winfrey, Slate reported.
2. Rosanne Barr Has Made Millions Through Syndication
You have to calculate syndication into Roseanne’s wealth. It’s not just how popular her show was at the time it first aired; it’s the fact that it had staying power in reruns. In 1993, Daily Variety reported, “‘Roseanne’ reigned as the No. 1 new strip in syndication.”
The show earned $1 million per episode in syndication. Now consider that Roseanne gets a cut of that and the show had more than 200 episodes during its first incarnation.
Roseanne’s working class cred comes from her early years. According to Biography.com, she was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and originally married a motel clerk. She was a high school dropout who worked as a waitress and a dishwasher.
3. Roseanne Barr Has Made Money as a Writer, in Movies & on Other Projects
Although she is best known for the sitcom named after her, and it clearly drives most of her wealth, Roseanne has had a versatile career and has earned money as an author, in a series of movies, and in other ventures.
For example, she served as a judge on Last Comic Standing. She has written five books: Stand Up!, Roseanne, My Life as a Woman, My Lives, and Roseanne: My Life and Loves, and Roseannearchy: Dispatches from the Nut Farm.
The Richest notes that Barr has also “done numerous guest appearances on television shows, including General Hospital, 3rd Rock from the Sun and My Name is Earl” and appeared on Broadway.
4. Roseanne’s Finances Were Exposed During a Custody Battle & She Paid Millions in a Divorce
In 2011, TMZ obtained court documents in Roseanne’s divorce from Ben Thomas, with whom she shares a son, Buck. A messy marital history may have reduced her net worth somewhat.
The entertainment site reported at the time that Thomas claimed Roseanne was worth $42 million and was demanding attorney’s fees from the actress. He demanded that she pay him $100,000 for making him undergo a custody battle for Buck. Roseanne also paid millions of dollars to her ex-husband Tom Arnold when they divorced, according to The Richest.
Indeed, Roseanne’s payout to Arnold as a result of the divorce was estimated to be $50 million, one of the highest settlements ever paid out by a female celebrity during a divorce.
5. Rosanne Barr’s Tweets About Valerie Jarrett Have Threatened Her Business Empire
On May 29, 2018, Roseanne Barr tweeted about former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett and former presidential daughter Chelsea Clinton. Clinton had recently been sharply critical of President Donald Trump, whom Barr supports. Barr retracted a tweet falsely claiming that Clinton’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky, was the nephew of George Soros. However, her tweet on Jarrett was derided as racist and provoked the most intense blacklash.
According to CNN, Barr tweeted, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj” in response to a tweet by Jarrett. She later apologized are a firestorm erupted, saying, “I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me-my joke was in bad taste.”
Now that ABC has cancelled the show, the scandal will obviously affect Roseanne’s bottom line. She previously faced a firestorm of criticism for her spitting and crotch grabbing during a rendition of the National Anthem.