Some folks should stay off Twitter for good.
If you thought Roseanne Barr would be supportive of The Conners, then bless your heart. The spinoff debuted last night on ABC and racked up killer ratings which made it TV’s No. 1 new series. After the highly-anticipated premiere, Barr did what she does best: fire off bitter, offensive tweets.
The disgraced comedienne took to Twitter to express her anger over the fact that Roseanne Conner died of an opioid overdose.
Earlier this year, The Conners showrunner, Bruce Helford, penned a column in the Hollywood Reporter expressing the decision to end Roseanne Conner’s life in such a manner.
“We knew we had to explain Roseanne’s disappearance from the show definitively but also set up the other characters in a way where they could move on,” explained Helford. “After much discussion by all parties, it was decided that we would have to make her departure clearly permanent… And the result would have to leave no shadow over Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky, DJ and all of Lanford. It was a crucial story point so that the other characters could truly move on boldly with their lives, evolve and grow… I wanted a respectful sendoff for her, too: one that was relevant and could inspire discussion for the greater good about the American working class, whose authentic problems are often ignored by broadcast television.”
Barr also released a joint statement with her Rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, criticizing ABC for her character’s bleak departure. Barr also blasted the network for not forgiving her after she wrote a racist tweet about President Obama’s former advisor, Valerie Jarrett.
You can read the full, joint statement below:
“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. That it was done through an opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show.
“This was a choice the network did not have to make. 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. The show brought together characters of different political persuasions and ethnic backgrounds in one, unified family, a rarity in modern American entertainment. Above all else, the show celebrated a strong, matriarchal woman in a leading role, something we need more of in our country.
“Through humor and a universally relatable main character, the show represented a weekly teaching moment for our nation. Yet it is often following an inexcusable – but not unforgivable – mistake that we can discover the most important lesson of all: Forgiveness. After repeated and heartfelt apologies, the network was unwilling to look past a regrettable mistake, thereby denying the twin American values of both repentance and forgiveness. In a hyper-partisan climate, people will sometimes make the mistake of speaking with words that do not truly reflect who they are. However, it is the power of forgiveness that defines our humanity.
“Our society needs to heal on many levels. What better way for healing than a shared moment, once a week, where we could have all enjoyed a compelling storyline featuring a witty character — a woman — who America connected with, not in spite of her flaws, but because of them. The cancellation of Roseanne is an opportunity squandered due in equal parts to fear, hubris, and a refusal to forgive.”
The Conners airs on Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC.
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