Shots Fired: Roseanne Barr Strikes Back Over the Way ABC Killed Her Character

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October 17, 2018Oct 17, 2018

In May, Roseanne Barr was fired from her TV show "Roseanne" after an offensive tweet. Even after profusely apologizing for the tweet, Barr wasn't able to save her show.

On Tuesday night, the show returned with Barr's character Roseanne Conner. The spinoff is now titled "The Conners."

After the show aired, Barr took to Twitter to respond to the show's premiere. She took issue with the way that her character was killed off.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

"The Connors" opens after Roseanne's death. The first episode centers on how the family is dealing with her death—and the way that she died, In the show, Barr's character dies from an opioid addiction.

Instead of having her die from a heart attack in her sleep, it becomes clear that Barr's character had a serious problem. Throughout the episode, her family finds pills hidden all over the house.

After her initial response on Twitter, Barr released an official statement about the show. In it, she paired with her longtime rabbi, Shmuley Boteach.

In the statement, they emphasized their displeasure with the way Roseanne was killed: "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."

Roseanne Barr and her longtime Rabbi and friend, World Values Network Founder Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, have issued the following statement regarding the cancellation of Roseanne and the premiere of The Conners:

“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.”

Fans also took to Twitter to express their disgust with the show. They said they wanted to see Roseanne come back.

What do you think? Did you watch "The Conners" when it aired last night?