Meeting with the Television Critics Association press tour for the first time since ABC ordered a revival of “Roseanne,” Barr was outspoken at times, but held her tongue back at other moments. Barr has always been combative with critics, and famously lambasted many of them over the years during the original run of “Roseanne.” On Monday, she didn’t trash the writers in the room, but she was asked several times to explain why she, and her character, remain Trump supporters.
“I have always attempted to portray a realistic portrait of American working class people, and it was working class people who elected Trump,” she said. “So it was very real and something that needed to be discussed.”
Barr said the return of “Roseanne” will focus on the polarization of the family, and added that “people hating other people for the way they voted… is un-American.”
When asked whether Trump’s xenophobic views bothered her, Barr took issue: “That’s your opinion.” The star and executive producer did admit that Trump “says a lot of crazy shit… I’m not a Trump apologist. There are a lot of things he has said and done that I don’t agree with. Nobody is brainwashed into agreeing 100% of what anyone says.” But Barr also said Trump was “the lesser of two evils,” and that “the large part of why I could not vote for Hillary Clinton was because of Haiti.”
Asked whether she would vote for Oprah Winfrey — who fans are rallying behind as a plausible presidential candidate because of her Golden Globes speech on Sunday — or Susan Sarandon, Barr said she loves “Oprah like everybody else [but] I would be a better president than Oprah and Susan Sarandon, and possibly Donald Trump.” (Indeed, Barr did run in 2012.)
Barr’s outspokeness on stage may be part of the reason, as she admitted, that her children banned her from going on Twitter. “I did not want it to overshadow the show so I’m taking a break,” she said.
Nonetheless, Barr said she has mellowed to some degree: “I think that I’ve grown up, I’m a grandmother now,” she said. “Everybody who hits 65 is more mellow than when they were in their 40s. I am 65 years old now, and so happy I have Medicaid, or Medicare.”
There’s a bit of irony in that statement, given Trump’s move to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and desire by Republican leaders to dismantle the nation’s entitlement system. “The whole arc of this season is about health care,” Barr said.
As a parting statement, Barr ended the panel by adding, “I would like to see an end to ‘hate-riotism’ in this country.”
As for the show itself, reunited on the panel were John Goodman (Dan), Laurie Metcalf (Jackie), Sara Gilbert (Darlene), Michael Fishman (DJ), Lecy Goranson (Becky 1) and Sarah Chalke (Becky 2, but now playing Andrea). Johnny Galecki (David) is expected to make an appearance in episode 6. Barr and Gilbert are executive producing, along with Bruce Helford, Whitney Cummings, and Carsey-Werner’s Tom Werner.
“On the original series I wanted a tenth year to finish and complete the story of this family,” Barr said. “I’m happy we got a tenth season and got to do that.”
Barr said she would be open for additional episodes or seasons of the “Roseanne” revival. The return of “Roseanne” premieres on Tuesday, March 27 at 8 p.m. ET with an hour-long episode.