Roseanne Barr sorry for linking Osmond’s Mormonism w/ her son’s suicide

Celebs Enjoy Private Hollywood Party
Leave it to Roseanne Barr to offend a family after a tragedy. The acerbic 57 year-old comedianne blogged two days after Marie Osmond’s son committed suicide that he was gay and that his depression was due to his family’s involvement in the Mormon church, which teaches that homosexuality is a choice and that sex outside a male-female marriage is wrong. Barr wrote:

“Marie Osmond’s poor gay son killed himself. He had been told how wrong and how sick he was every day of his life by his church and the people in it. Calling that ‘depression’ is a lie!”

“Yet the Osmonds still talk lovingly about their church, saying nothing about it’s extremely anti-gay crusade. Marie also has a gay daughter! Hey I want her and all the gay kids in the world to know that they are just fine being gay and that they deserve love and respect instead of insults and rebuke! I have gay people in my family and my circle of friends and I am kicking bigot a** and taking names!”

[via Starpulse]

Now, Barr could be correct in that 18 year-old Michael Bryan was having issues with his identity because of the religion with which he was raised. The thing is, we don’t know if Bryan was gay or not and his friend to whom he addressed his suicide note claims she’s 100% certain that he was not. Barr brings up a good point, that many religions, particularly Mormonism, make young gay people feel inadequate and can contribute to suicide among gay people who have been taught that the way they are is somehow wrong or their fault. She shouldn’t have attached that message to such a recent tragedy though, and Barr realizes this. She penned a long apology that is more carefully written that her usual stream of consciousness style. Here’s part of what she wrote:

I saw on the front page of a tabloid that he had killed himself because he could not handle being gay, and I wrote about how angry that made me, after seeing it hundreds of times, growing up as I did in Utah. I don’t know the Osmonds, but was always offended at their constant defense of the indefensible things that their church does, the way it promotes hatred and racism and sexism, tax free.

I have known so many gay people who killed themselves, or suffered and that is why I put myself on the line to bring TV’s first gay characters to America. I never intended for my comments to be picked up and broadcast on sleazy gossip TV shows, or on other blogs. That was done without my consent or knowledge.

I always intended that my remarks are directed to Power, and always on behalf of its victims. I am sorry to have hurt Marie Osmond, who is the most open minded person in her whole family. I really apologize to her. I thought about waiting to say what I had to say, but then I thought that perhaps there was no better time to add to the conversations in America about homophobia.

Alot of people know they are gay at age three, and I just feel that is why parents should keep little ones away from organizations that tell them from an early age that they are sick and going to hell and not worth the love of God. That is so vile, and a large part of the reason that I never sent my own kids to any synagogue or other religious place ever. You never know if your kids are gay, and aside from that, why would you want to take any of them to a place to learn about God, that teaches hate?

I really encourage parents to stop destroying their children by doing that. It is not good family values. Being gay is not a choice. I didn’t choose to be straight anymore than my siblings chose to be gay, or we chose to be born Jews in SLC, where we were all tormented daily by hateful Mormon neighbors (not all of them were hateful, but too many were).
Anyway, I apologize again for having added to another mother’s pain, and have asked myself if I should have said nothing at all, or waited a while to say what I said. I really don’t know. I think it’s good to get people talking about being more aware of what we accept, and i know that my comments got people talking.

[From Roseanne Barr’s blog]

I agree with Roseanne that we need to bring light to the fact that these churches are preaching intolerance. The Mormon church funded 50-75% of the campaign for Prop8 that ultimately banned same sex marriage in California. What good is it to deny families legal rights that should be guaranteed them? Still, Roseanne was wrong to bring Marie Osmond’s terrible loss into it, and she realizes that. Her apology seemed sincere to me. Reading the rest of her blog kind of bummed me out, though. I’m liberal but I try to keep my head up and not get too depressed about the way the country, and the world, is headed. (It helps a lot that I have a job and health insurance that I don’t pay for out of pocket. I’ve done that and it was a fortune.) Barr isn’t looking on the bright side at all, though, and it’s all bad to her. I doubt that much would be different under Hilary as she claims, but we’ll never know.

Marie Osmond performs at the Flamino Hotel, making her Vegas comeback with brother Donny Osmond, just one day after the funeral of her 18-year-old son Michael Bryan

Andre Agassi's Grand Slam For Children

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

39 Responses to “Roseanne Barr sorry for linking Osmond’s Mormonism w/ her son’s suicide”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. UrbanRube says:

    I think she has a point, but this was an extremely wrong time, place, and way to say it.

  2. Icecat says:

    I grew up in SLC, and you all can hate on me as much as you want, but I COMPLETELY agree with Rosanne. She is SPOT ON.

    Mormonism fucks with children/young adults who are gay. My roommate (who is gay) is STILL fucked up from his time in the church. He even went on a Mormon Mission. He was too scared to come out of the closet until he was 24 years old. I, like Rosanne, have seen numerous young adults commit suicide becasue their church didn’t accept them. And when the church doesn’t accept them, niether does their parents. I’ve seen teenagers kicked out and cut off from thier own families because of thier sexual orientation. It’s just sickening.

    And what is more sickening is that they had his funeral in a MORMON TEMPLE. Now, I don’t know his views on this, but if he was gay, I’m guessing this is not what he would have wanted…

    Sorry about the rant, but this is a very sensitive subject to me. No one can understand it unless you have grown up in Utah and had to deal with the hatred the Mormon Church expels….

  3. canadianchick says:

    She’s off on the timing but much of she’s said about some religions and homophobia is true.I have Mormon family and I feel sorry for the closeted ones and know they at risk for suicide, as all glbttq people are-given the reality of hate groups. Not good of Roseanne to assume stuff about Marie’s son and to capitalize on the tragedy as a forum for her opinion.

  4. Tess says:

    I’m intolerant of people who assume moral superiority, the vicious, self-rightous, crude, know-it-all gasbags.

  5. Popcorny says:

    Rosanne may be crass but she has a lot of heart.
    I don’t know the exact reason(s) the young man took his life over, but it reeks -as does Marie’s scramble to get back onstage.
    Oh I know a lot of folks will say, buy and repeat Marie’s “but this is what Osmond’s do to survive” crap and I’ve got a response for that … -Phhhlllt!
    Personally, I think that type of behavior (of Marie’s) may have some bearing on why her son “took leave” off of a balcony.
    The same Marie that said she knew her son was having depression issues, but told the reporter that she was “waiting on him” to come to her -as if that was good thing, but it comes off loudly as she was refusing to make time for him, that he and his problems were too inconvenient for her and her precious schedule.
    I used to really like Marie but lost huge respect for her over the past couple years via the interviews she’s given (on Insider, seemingly every other night) continually stage-weeping over some divorce(s) that occurred a zillion years ago … just creating self-important drama and publicity for herself and trying to glean sympathy.
    So, it did not surprise me that she flew right back up on stage and “dedicated” a show (as if that means anything) to her son while he was practically still warm in his grave.
    Oh, I know, different strokes and different folks, yadda yadda yadda … phhhlllt! I don’t buy it, it’s so symptomatic of the “Marie first (and only)” syndrome that no doubt was a factor in her son’s final leap.
    It just all fits in too right (and so wrongly so).
    She (Marie) makes me sick.

  6. DoMaJoReMc says:

    All I can say is that I don’t think Roseanne even KNOWS what the word ‘appropriate’ means. She opens her big, fat yap, spouts what she wants to (no matter who it hurts), and THEN decides to apologize. Well, here’s a concept: THINK about who you might hurt before you speak. Then, you won’t have to eventually apologize.

  7. Erin says:

    I’m constantly impressed by how intelligent she is…except that I do question anyone’s basing their anger and judgment on something they read passingly on the cover of a tabloid. She is absolutely right about everything she says, but she should have done her homework before making what would end up being a public statement at a very emotional time for the Osmonds.

  8. SolitaryAngel says:

    If this poor kid was gay, I feel so much worse for him. It’s bad enough that he was depressed and no one was taking the initiative to HELP him! I was raised Baptist in the Deep south and there is only one gay person in my family and we all know he is; however, he would die before he admitted it and everyone in the family–although they whisper about it–acts like they don’t have a clue. One of the reasons I hate those f*ckers; also one of the reasons I hate organized religion–it’s just an excuse to exclude people from their “clique”. Roseanne was wrong to say it the way she did at first, but the apology was nice and I think she is dead-on in her assessment.

  9. JLM says:

    She should have kept her mouth shut. If reading about Marie Osmond’s son inspired her to express her feelings on religion and homosexuality, she could have written about it without bashing a woman and her family who just suffered a devastating loss. Maybe next time Roseanne, think about what you’re saying before you just barf it out…

  10. Icecat says:

    @SolitaryAngel – ITA!

    It is the same story with the Mormons. My boyfriend has a gay aunt – Now this lady is probably in her 60’s. I know for a fact she is gay, so does my BF, but the family refuses to even think that could be possible. It’s so sad. She has lived her life in the closet because of what this news would do to her parents. She’s never been married, no kids.. but she has always had a very good friend that she lives with and even introduces to the family. AND they still refuse to believe it.

    PS. This is also why I do not like organized religion either.
    BOO on Hate!!

  11. Scout says:

    I find her to be a very real person – what you see is what you get. She is, I think, a very reactionary person and has a short fuse, which can be, at times, a bad combination. So, she gets herself in trouble. I think she is a much deeper and more thoughtful person than she appears and when she realizes her errors in judgement, she is quick to admit them. She is definitely spot on about Mormonism, as well as other organized religions, regarding homosexulaity. I applaud her for the courage of her convictions. My heart goes out to the Osmond family, none-the-less.

  12. Barker says:

    Hey Popcorny,
    I understand where you are coming from on Marie’s rapid return to the stage; however, it is really hard to judge in this case unless you been thru it.
    I lost a sibling to murder and after a week of staying home, my father went to work because it was a distraction to thinking about the tragedy all day long. There was no question about how much my father loved his child but the grief can be so consuming that if you don’t have a few hours in the day to distract you, the stress and pain will eat away at you. I believe strongly that this helped my father cope with the tragedy.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Marie’s return to the stage is the same. I would think that she needs something of joy for a few hours a day to ease her pain for that brief period.

    Just another opinion.

  13. xxodettexx says:

    I also agree with a lot of the comments on here that while the timing of Roseanne’s rant may be viewed as somewhat inappropriate, she was dead on. Like Icecat and SolitaryAngel, I too grew up in the deep south and in a fundamentaly religious family and know of family members and friends that have always had to hide themselves because of the intolerance most religions teach. It is just sick.

  14. sharylmj says:

    I grew up in a Mormon community and was not part of the church. I can see how the children could be conflicted and confused. I do know that those families were very close and supported each other with love.. I don’t agree with the views of the Mormon religion, but they have a lot of love for their kids. I know that Marie is in alot of pain right now, as any mother would be. Rosie’s observations are right, but as always she is so insensitive and mean.

  15. Me says:

    OK, so since I am not a Mormon does that mean I don’t show a lot of love for my kids??? Just askin

  16. Bobby the K says:


    Actually, religion is a choice.

    I don’t know if Rosanne’s timing was off. This is a hugely important issue, and if it wasn’t so crass of her it would not have gotten the attention.

    The opposite situation is to cultivate such a hostile fear-based environment, but act like everything is fine and normal.

  17. Popcorny says:

    Barker, with no exaggeration the #1 cause of death in my family is suicide.
    It’s terrible what happens in the run up to suicide and when it does happen it’s time (long overdue) to pause, reflect and do some introspection (for the loved one lost, and the loved ones left -woe be to the future when history remains unchecked and ignored, it tends to repeat itself that way).
    Suicide is a different beast, there’s much more (within a family) to the aftermath than greiving and coping with the loss. The need to understand the suicide is essential if anything positive is ever to come of it -the positive being to protect and hold safe from it happening again as much as possible.
    Not much learning, protecting or introspection and reflection to be had or made up on stage in Vegas, on a View couch or on Insider edition.
    It just reeks, Marie reeks.

  18. dee says:

    I feel like most, her timing may have been off but she speaks the truth here.
    I also think Marie is going to milk this for attention. I cant imagine losing a child and then going on to do a show with a couple days. I get the distraction thing but thats way too soon, its just more attention for her. She’s been trying to keep herself in the spotlight since she was on DWTS. Im sure she’ll be doing the media circuit soon to discuss this over and over but really she’ll just be covering up what was really causing her kid so much pain.

  19. Majosha says:

    Me: Um, it’s obvious that sharylmj was just making an observation about the Mormons she’s come into contact with, not making any claims about whether or not they “show love for their kids” more than anyone else.

    As for Roseanne, I agree with what she’s saying, but her timing is horribly inappropriate.

  20. Icecat says:

    @Me – No it dosen’t.

    And people shouldn’t be fooled by *some* Mormons fake facade they are portraying to their communities… Mormons typically only care what people *think* of them. Their image. You never know what goes on inside the house. NOT every Mormon is like this, but A LOT of them are “Jack Mormons”… Like my Grandmother for instance; She was staunch Morman, BUT she hid Coke (the drink) in the back of the fridge for the “older” kids and let my Grandpa drink instant coffee. We went to church, but left right after Sacrament was handed out every single week.
    On Fasting Sunday’s we still ate… But she would NEVER let anyone know that. She still gave her tithing money like it was no big deal… What a joke!!!!

    Mormons = Big Money Business

    No I’m not bitter at all.. 😀

  21. Wholesome1 says:

    I’m glad she apologised.

  22. Aussie Mama says:

    Go Rosanne!
    Love her or hate her, she simply say’s it how it is, no political correctness, no mamby pambying, no beating around the bush. Mormonism, does not condone sex between adults and children either, it is sick, perverse, o different to scientology, or any other church, which is just there for profit.
    Let people like her speak the truth, never shut her, or the mel gibsons, or the howard sterns up! Freedom of speech should be just that free. If you don’t like it, switch off, but don’t bash them!

  23. Dee says:

    I know 2 people that have this situation – parent very “religious” – child – gay/lesbian. One child tried to kill himself X2….which really upset me because I feel like this person is my own. I do blame his family for the attempts….I grew up in the South and there is NO tolerance for gays.

  24. glowkey says:

    So for all those bashing Mormonism — why not aim all the criticism toward other religions as well? How do you think gay folks are treated under Islamic rule? Under Hindu rule? Under Orthodox rule of any kind? Yes, we are talking about Marie/the Osmonds/Utah but as a whole, why single out one religion (Aussie Mama, for instance)? Everything that people specifically target in the negative about Mormonism can be applied to virtually every set of religious beliefs (the major ones, at least), and furthermore, are you not all just as ignorant in putting down the beliefs of others because their beliefs supposedly put down those which are different as well? How is that not hypocritical??

  25. Aussie Mama says:

    I said: no different to scientology or any other church.
    Meaning, Catholisism, Islam, everything.
    It is just organised religion, all of them, all for money. You think they really care about any of us?
    Common, how many orphans and little children have been bent over by preachers, abused, bashed, killed, impregnanted by priests of every denomination out there, beaten by nuns. It’d be in the millions. I hate them all. You don’t need to go through a person to speak to God, they just want us to think that, that way they have the power. God is in us all, we can speak to God whenever we like.

  26. Icecat says:

    @AussieMama – Utah Mormons are not polygamists and do not condone sex with young girls (I think you we’re saying they did). It is the nutbag Fundamental Mormons (a break off of the Mormon Church) who does. They are Polygamists and they DO make young pre-teen girls have sex with much older dirty gross men…

    @Glowkey – I grew up in Utah my whole life and have had Mormonism practically shoved down my throat. So, yeah, it is the religion I know most about.
    BUT I did say that I don’t agree with ANY organized Religion. That means ALL of them….

  27. ThunderC*nt says:

    We’re mostly women here, right? So as a woman to other women, I implore you to boycott these religions. All of them. If you’re a good person, not a sociopath undercover, then what do you need them for? If you believe in yourself and do the right thing at most times, that should be good enough. Fine, believe in a God or follow some practices but also allow acceptance of gays et al. In the future, text books (all online of course) will speak about how traditional religions fooled many even into the 21st century. Just be a good person and volunteer at a cause you believe in. Make that your church. Am I wrong or just ahead of my time here?

  28. ThunderC*nt says:

    BTW, the original Mormon church was set up to help addicts. No drink, tobacco and even caffeine. There are free anonymous programs for that today.

  29. CB Rawks says:

    Damn straight, ThunderC!

    I totally agree, and I would also add that truly good people do the right thing because it is right,
    not because they are trying to GET something like the approval of a *god*.
    The only truly altruistic people are good, NON-religious people that help selflessly simply because it is the right thing to do.

  30. CB Rawks says:

    My sister in law the totally heinous Mormon Bitch, has spent twenty years trying to talk my husband around to her religion. He’s very well-read though, so she can’t fool him, and eventually it becomes sort of an argument, in that she gets angry that he knows too many facts and then doesn’t speak to us for months.
    🙂 Hehehe We’re on Long Service Leave right now, actually.

  31. ThunderC*nt says:

    CB Rawks, thank you and may I add we are all of the suckers who take in stray animals, to boot! My home is a menagerie of society’s unwanted pets.

    @Rawks, most likely if he is educated, sounds like it, then there is no need for any mainstream religion. Just doesn’t fly with the educated. They’ve read too much to be fooled. Stay on that leave, Rawks and give a gift certificate to a local college this coming holiday season. At least 3 credits.

  32. CB Rawks says:

    I just got a goose! My first random goose. She’s free roaming but she comes choofing up to me twice a day to have dinner.
    The husband says she’s not allowed to sleep in the house though. 😉 She’s actually bigger than my cat so I don’t see a problem.

    Donate money to a college itself? That’s a cool idea. I don’t have any young’uns nearby to sponsor.

  33. Hey Now says:

    If y’all think that “being a NIIIICE PERSON” is gonna get you into Heaven, then who am I to disabuse you of that notion? But think about this…you all say that church/religion is brainwashing, yet you don’t seem to realize that you are being brainwashed in the opposite direction. Look around you, at the media, magazines, internet, EVERYTHING is bashing religion and belief in God. EVERYTHING, yet you think that you’re so ahead of your time, original and such an independent thinker! Who’s fooling who here?

    I don’t care what you people believe in, or choose to do with your life because it does not prevent my salvation, so go ahead and believe that religion, God and faith are all worthless, irrelevant and outdated. We’ll see who is right soon enough.

  34. Icecat says:

    @ThunderCunt – BTW the original Mormon Church was not set up to help addicts. It is true they may be hocking that shit now but, their is no way it was “set up” originally just to help addicts. That is FAR from the truth, and just goes to show how little the rest of the country knows about Mormonism.

    Here is a better explanation:

    “Like many aspects of the LDS religion, the duty to maintain good health has its roots in revelation, in this case a section of the Doctrine and Covenants that Mormons call the Word of Wisdom. The legend surrounding its origin is that Joseph Smith and other early LDS leaders used to chew tobacco during Church meetings, spitting juices on the floor. Joseph’s wife, Emma Hale Smith, was disgusted by this act, and her complaints led the Prophet to ask God whether tobacco use was really appropriate for Latter-day Saints.

    The Lord’s response, contained in D&C section 89, covered far more than just tobacco; it also restricted the consumption of wine, liquor, meat, and hot drinks (today interpreted to mean tea and coffee of any temperature). Although many Mormons understand this scripture as suggesting that all caffeine is bad and should be avoided, this idea isn’t official Church doctrine; the Church allows members to decide that issue for themselves, and some members choose to drink cola.

    Some people wonder whether Mormons get kicked out of the Church for kicking back a few. The answer is no: Basic Church membership isn’t contingent upon keeping the Word of Wisdom. However, members with Word of Wisdom problems can’t hold priesthood callings or get a temple recommend. So although nobody gets excommunicated for smoking a cigarette or being spotted in Starbuck’s, the full blessings of Church membership, including temple attendance, are reserved for those who walk the straight and narrow path.”

    Here are some other facts that people probably do not know…

    The Mormon Church WAS originally set up as a “plural” marriage church, but when the Federal Government decided not to give them any money (because they we’re scared as hell of how fast they we’re breeding), they we’re forced to change their ways, and made polygamy illegal. There are still people in Salt lake that have Polygamist compounds, but you would never now. Mostly, they live out in the smaller towns, and when you do drive by a Polygamists’ house. You’ll know. BUT with all of that said the bigger problems is with the “Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”, or the FLDS, which is a break off of the Mormon Church and is VERY Freaken weird and scary. If you would like to know more.. Just google Warren Jeffs. He’s a sick, creepy guy and personally I’m glas is ass is locked up in PRISON, for forcing 14 year old girls to have sex and marry much older members of the FDLS… It’s just sickening to me that all of these children (and their are a lot of them) don’t even have a chance to know what the “Real World” is all about… SAD.

    Polygamy is illegal in Utah – BTW

  35. Sue says:

    I can’t stand Rosanne. She looks like a Pig and a Human mated and out she came. This Woman mocks every religion, and has no right to speculate weather Marie’s Son was gay or not. I had a Brother commit suicide and I can tell you that even though he and I didn’t get along, I was devastaed by his death. And for about 2 years after it, I didn’t do anything but stay in my home and disassociate my self with alot of people. Suicide affects people differently. Maybe Marie’s Doctor highly advised her to go back to work so that she didn’t fall into the same trap that I did. I wish I had Marie’s strength to get back into my life again, but I didn’t. So for all of you who want to critisize Marie, you don’t know what this kind of thing does to a person unless you’ve had it happen to you. Other than that, STFU!

  36. Ronnie says:

    Barr is a loud mouth busybody whose star has fallen…and will continue to fall…I agree that LDS is a bad religion..but not due to it’s stance on homosexuality…it’s basic beginnings are corrupt…

  37. DeeDee says:

    Just for the sake of accuracy, Michael’s funeral was not held “in a Mormon Temple.” His service was held in an LDS Meeting house. The Temples are not used for funerals.

  38. fantastic issues altogether, you simply gained a new reader. What could you recommend about your publish that you made some days ago? Any positive?

  39. wargames83 says:

    For all those saying her Rosanne was right, no she was not right. It is Marie’s living daughter that is gay, and Marie supports her 100%. This was just idle speculation on Rosanne’s part, and hurtful speculation at that.