Roseanne Barr Says Character’s Overdose Death on ‘The Conners’ Is ‘Grim and Morbid’

October 17, 2018 Updated: October 17, 2018

Roseanne Barr released a statement on the premiere of ABC’s new show, “The Conners,” describing her character’s death from an opioid overdose an “unnecessary grim and morbid dimension” on a family show.

While Barr wished the “very best” for the cast and crew of the show, she criticized ABC’s management. Earlier this year, her show “Roseanne” was taken off the air after making a controversial tweet about former Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett that some described as racist and triggered a social media mass hysteria.

“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,” Barr wrote in a statement on Oct. 16 via the Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s Facebook page.

Barr, an outspoken supporter of President Trump and one of the few conservatives in Hollywood, also slammed ABC for making a poor decision. After Barr was fired, the network rebranded it is as “The Conners.”

“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,” she wrote in the statement.

She added: “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.”

According to Rolling Stone, the premiere of “The Conners” was down 35 percent from the premiere of “Roseanne.”

“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,” Barr wrote in the statement. “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.”

Actress Roseanne Barr
Actress Roseanne Barr waves on her arrival to the 75th Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, on Jan. 7, 2018. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters File Photo)

ABC Regret?

ABC executives are reportedly regretting the firing of Barr and fear “The Conners” won’t perform as well.

“We didn’t think it through properly. What Roseanne did was wrong but we shouldn’t have rushed to fire her. It was almost a knee-jerk reaction by Ben [Sherwood] and Channing [Dungey] who should have launched an investigation,” said one executive in a report last week.

“This would have given them more time to listen to the public, advertisers and cast members to determine the best decision.”