Roseanne Barr tweeted in all-caps to show she’s not pleased about how ‘The Conners’ chose to kill off her character! The disgraced actress and her rabbi even came forward with a joint statement to blast ABC.
Roseanne Barr, 65, is back to speaking her mind on Twitter. The last time she did that, ABC fired her from her own show. Now, the actress is taking shots at the network! After the spin-off to the cancelled Roseanne revival aired its season premiere on Oct. 16, Roseanne had some choice words to say about her character’s absence from The Conners. She tweeted on the night of the premiere, “I AIN’T DEAD, B*TCHES!!!!” Roseanne’s use of all-caps shows how she feels about an opioid overdose taking her character’s life, which The Conners’ inaugural episode kicked off with. The former sitcom star, who was the titular character of her original show from 1988 to 1997 and again in 2018, teamed up with her rabbi and the founder of The World Values Network, Shmuley Boteach, to chastise the network’s “morbid” story line and “refusal to forgive.”
HollywoodLife was provided the following statement: “While we wish the very best for the cast and production crew of The Conners, all of whom are deeply dedicated to their craft and were Roseanne’s cherished colleagues, we regret that ABC chose to cancel Roseanne by killing off the Roseanne Conner character,” the statement began. “That it was done through an opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show.” Recall that the family formerly believed Roseanne Conner had died from a heart attack, not pills — get the full recap of The Conners’ season premiere.
“This was a choice the network did not have to make,” the statement continued. “Roseanne was the only show on television that directly addressed the deep divisions threatening the very fabric of our society. Specifically, the show promoted the message that love and respect for one another’s personhood should transcend differences in background and ideological discord.” In one of the revival’s episodes, Roseanne’s character confronted her Muslim neighbors because she was worried they were building a bomb, which turned out to be fertilizer. The episode served as social commentary on many Americans’ unfair paranoia towards Muslim people. “The show brought together characters of different political persuasions and ethnic backgrounds in one, unified family, a rarity in modern American entertainment,” the statement went on. “Above all else, the show celebrated a strong, matriarchal woman in a leading role, something we need more of in our country.”
The statement further critiqued ABC for being “unwilling” to overlook Roseanne’s “inexcusable” but “not unforgivable mistake.” That mistake was Roseanne’s tweet from May 29, which read, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” VJ was a reference to Barack Obama’s former senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, whose birth country is Iran and is black. The statement ended by saying, “The cancellation of Roseanne is an opportunity squandered due in equal parts to fear, hubris, and a refusal to forgive.” While Roseanne took the opioid overdose personally, the pain medication plot line didn’t come out of left field. Roseanne’s character was already suffering from knee pain at the conclusion of the show’s revival. “Many, including Barr herself, suspected as much thanks to a story line in the revival involving Roseanne getting a little more dependent on the pain medication for her knee than she, or anyone else, quite realized,” the Chicago Tribune reported on Oct. 16.
Furthermore, executive producer Tom Werner wanted to bring the opioid epidemic into conversation…not get back at Roseanne! “Obviously we’re a comedy, but this is a problem that has affect tens of thousands of people…we felt this was something that could help shine a light on something, and what is wonderful about the show for me is that when it’s over, people have felt like the spent a half hour and it was worth their time,” he said during a panel at PaleyFest in New York City on Oct. 16. “I think people will be talking about this…This was an honest and authentic way of dealing with Roseanne Conner.”