This week, the reboot of ABC's "Roseanne" debuted to massive ratings — 18.1 million viewers tuned in to see what had become of the working-class Conner family last seen in 1996. Although these revivals tend to premiere big, the announcement that the lead character would be depicted as a Trump supporter probably goosed the ratings. The development was much debated on social media and in reviews — although the Conners live in prototypical Trump Country, on the original program Roseanne was depicted as feminist and pro-LGBT — and a boycott was announced (but clearly didn't gain much traction). But what's reality and what's TV? Is the Roseanne Barr Trump connection real, or only something they wrote into the script? We break it down.
Is the Roseanne Barr Trump connection real, or is it just for TV?
Although star Roseanne Barr was a Clinton supporter in real life during the show's original run, in recent years she's swung the other direction politically, supporting conservative and libertarian viewpoints (along with some conspiracy theories, including the murder of Seth Rich). The Roseanne Barr Trump connection was made official during the 2016 election, during which the actress supported The Donald. In interviews promoting the revival, she has said she has "no regrets" about her vote.
In December, Barr tweeted, "“4 those who wonder-back in the day when I was called a ‘liberal’ by journalists, I used to answer-‘I’m not a Liberal, I’m a radical’ & I still am-I voted Trump 2 shake up the status quo & the staid establishment." She has since deleted her Twitter history.
As for why Barr wanted the character Roseanne also to support Trump, Barr told the New York Times, "I just wanted to have that dialogue about families torn apart by the election and their political differences of opinion and how we handle it. I thought that this was an important thing to say at this time."
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Barr said that direction was her idea. "Because it’s an accurate portrayal of these people and people like them. In terms of what they think, and how they feel when they are the ones who send their kids over to fight. We’ve been in wars for a long, long time, which everybody seems to forget — but working class people don’t forget it because their kids are in it."
President Trump, of course, was thrilled with the revived TV show's ratings. On Thursday, it was reported that he called Barr to congratulate her.