Roseanne Barr is tweeting about QAnon, a new Pizzagate-style conspiracy theory

Will Sommer
4 min readMar 31, 2018

The success of ABC’s “Roseanne” reboot has brought new attention to comedian Roseanne Barr’s belief in the absolutely crazy “QAnon” conspiracy theory.

Barr alluded to the theory on Twitter on Friday night, baffling her followers.

Confusing as it may be, Barr’s tweet — heavy with references to Pizzagate-style global pedophile rings and Donald Trump’s covert triumphs — fits in well within her previously expressed beliefs in QAnon.

Even stranger, Barr herself plays a role in this conspiracy theory!

QAnon is a kind of mega-conspiracy theory popular with fringe-minded Trump supporters like Barr. It combines recent conspiracy theories like Pizzagate and the Seth Rich murder conspiracy, as well as classic conspiracy elements like fear of the Rothschild family.

QAnon believers are convinced that the world is run by a nefarious deep state cabal of Democrats, celebrities, and intelligence community figures (many of whom, they claim, are pedophiles).

Trump is about to take them all down, in their telling, often with sealed indictments that are hidden from the public. Hence Barr’s tweets about massive pedophile networks.

Here’s the backstory, which I covered for my newsletter on right-wing media, Right Richter. In late October 2017, an anonymous person calling themselves “Q” — a reference to the high-level “Q” security clearance, “QAnon” — started posting cryptic clues across anonymous internet forums.

They’re so vague that they can mean anything, or be taken to be signals about whatever the day’s current events are. And, of course, literally anyone could be posting these clues.

Here’s an example from November:

Godfather lll

Alice & Wonderland

Alice (Lewis Carroll) =

The Bloody Wonderland =

Make sense? Of course not. But there are massive PDF’s devoted to “decoding” the clues offered by Q. Conspiracy-minded outlets like Infowars and various YouTube streamers have built up communities are decoding the “clues.”

Reddit recently banned its leading QAnon decoding community, while YouTube has threatened to crackdown QAnon streamers — a sign of the growing concern at social media networks about the conspiracy theory community.

Meanwhile, QAnon believers have become convinced that GOP nemeses like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have already been secretly arrested and taken to Guantanamo Bay — or will be there soon.

Barr has tweeted about QAnon before, expressing an interest in meeting “Q.”

Around the same time, Barr’s website went down—which QAnon devotees took to mean that Barr was a victim of the deep state looking to suppress the truth about QAnon. But the Daily Beast reports Barr’s website was likely just taken down for routine maintenance.

Barr hasn’t shown any sign of backing down from her belief in QAnon. And the ratings success of her show, which earned her a congratulatory call from the president himself, has made her the darling of mainstream right-wing media figures on Fox News and talk radio.

But those people, like talk radio mega-host Rush Limbaugh, are already coming to grapple with Barr’s belief in QAnon. On Friday, Limbaugh accused the media of putting out “hit pieces” on Barr for mentioning her belief in QAnon. Limbaugh struggled to explain what exactly QAnon means:

Now, I’m not familiar with the conspiracies that she believes in, but they are conspiracies that are associated with this relatively private chat group on the internet called 4chan and a group called QAnon. Now, I don’t know how that’s pronounced, but it’s spelled the letter Q, A-n-o-n. So I’m guessing it’s QAnon. Anyway, the people in these chat rooms believe in the anti-Trump conspiracies that anti-Trump people are behind and believe in.

QAnon has flirted at the edges of right-wing media for a while. Fox’s Sean Hannity, for example, retweeted a tweet mentioning QAnon a few months ago. But Barr’s new television prominence and embrace from the right will bring a new level of attention to the QAnon conspiracy theory, especially if she keeps tweeting about it.

You only need to look at the string of violent acts committed by believers in similar right-wing conspiracy theories over the past two years — including the shooting at Comet Ping Pong — to see where promoting these kinds of conspiracy theories can lead.

If you liked this post, there’s more like it every week in my newsletter, Right Richter, and on my Twitter feed. My email is sommerwf at gmail.