I met her and Tom Arnold at a book signing for her first tome and they were very game and nice. I asked her to sign a cover of Jet with Bill Cosby on it because they had a perceived rivalry at the time. At first she refused, then she smiled and signed. And under the cover line "Is Racism Still Alive?" she noted: "Yes." I desperately hoped she didn't mean me, for asking.
Now, I have zero interest in watching reruns of her admittedly ground-breaking and classic sitcom. It's just one of those shows I wouldn't enjoy seeing again. (I used to like but now can't sit through Friends or Will & Grace, either.) Part of it is because I fell out of love with Barr. She became too kooky, too mean-spirited and erratic. And even recently, I was turned off by her again when she told Oprah her book about being an incest survivor shouldn't have used the word incest. I mean...that is not a word you use lightly, or one you should ever put yourself in the position of having to take back.
But I fell back in love with her a little while reading her excellent essay on her experience with her TV show for New York Magazine. She bluntly assesses the people around her who felt were shamelessly ripping her off, notes Hollywood's hate affair with blue-collar workers and unfuckable chicks and recalls not being afraid to level charges of misogyny where she saw fit. (Let's just hope misogyny isn't the new incest.)
Check it out—despite at least one glaring contradiction (she broadly paints all male TV writers as woman-haters, then boasts of having given Judd Apatow his first job), it's fascinating and instructive.
The whole feature on showrunners in that issue is fantastic, and well worth skipping an episode of Two and a Half Men to read.