[Warning: If you can’t tell by the headline above, spoilers follow.]
ABC’s “Roseanne” spinoff “The Conners” kicked off its season premiere with confirmation that the character once played by Roseanne Barr had been killed off the series after suffering an opioid overdose from pills she was taking to treat a knee injury. Barr took to her Twitter page for an instant reaction to her character’s fate following the conclusion of the episode, defiantly tweeting, “I AIN’T DEAD, BITCHES!!!!” The actress then published a longer, more official statement along with her rabbi, Shmuley Boteach.
“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,” Barr and Boteach wrote. “That it was done through an opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show.”
Barr and Boteach continued by saying killing Roseanne by opioid addiction was “a choice the network did not have to make” that went against what the show stood for in the past, both in its original run and its 2018 revival season.
“‘Roseanne was the only show on television that directly addressed the deep divisions threatening the very fabric of our society,” the statement reads. “Specifically, the show promoted the message that love and respect for one another’s personhood should transcend differences in background and ideological discord…Above all else, the show celebrated a strong, matriarchal woman in a leading role, something we need more of in our country.”
The statement concludes that the decision to kill off Roseanne was made “due in equal parts to fear, hubris, and a refusal to forgive.” Read the entire statement in the Facebook post below. “The Conners” airs Tuesday nights at 8pm ET on ABC.
I AIN’T DEAD, BITCHES!!!!
— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) October 17, 2018