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Trump Supporter Roseanne Barr Will Play Trump-Supporter Roseanne Conner in 'Roseanne' Revival

By Dustin Rowles | TV | January 9, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | January 9, 2018 |


The Roseanne revival is right around the corner. It will replace Fresh Off the Boat on March 27th (and even if Fresh Off the Boat will have completed its season, it’s not great optics). At the Winter TCA’s yesterday, Roseanne Barr dropped some not-so surprising news about the reboot: Her character will be a Trump supporter. From The Blaze:

“It’s just realistic,” Barr said, adding that she’s always “attempted to portray a realistic portrait of the American people and working-class people.”

“It was working-class people that elected Trump so I felt that was very real and something that needed to be discussed, and especially about polarization in the family and people actually hating other people for the way they voted, which I feel is not American,” the entertainer explained.

I’m not thrilled about this. Roseanne Barr herself is a deeply problematic person, but she’s not wrong. If you’re gonna do a working-class family, and if you’re gonna engage in politics, it would be dishonest if at least one of the characters wasn’t a Trump supporter.

Fortunately, at least, we still have Sara Gilbert’s Darlene. Sara Gilbert, Sarah Chalke, and John Goodman would not participate in a show that didn’t challenge the politics of Trump every step of the way, would they?

“Roseanne” showrunner Bruce Helford revealed that politics have divided the Conner family for the 2017 revival.

“It hasn’t been established that Dan [John Goodman] voted for Trump — I don’t think he voted,” Helford told reporters during Monday’s TCA Winter Press Tour. “We wanted to find a way for this particular family, which represents a full cross-section of values and beliefs, to get that debate going in a very honest way.”

Sara Gilbert, who portrays one of Barr’s daughters, Darlene, on the show — and is also an executive producer of the show - described the on-screen family as one that is “divided by politics but still is filled with love.”

Look: I am all for debate, and I guess you need an oppositional voice in order to hold a debate. I just don’t like the idea of a Trump supporter being made palatable by a network television show. It seems like a ripe opportunity for false equivalence, for Darlene to take issue with Trump’s racism and homophobia while Roseanne counters, “But look at all the jobs he has created!” I get that Roseanne wants to create a working-class family that loves each other in spite of their political differences, but these aren’t mere political differences. One side supports compassion for all people including working class families, and one side promotes straight white people at the expense of others. That’s not a political position; that is hatred. Roseanne may love her own family despite their political differences, but what about the working-class El Salvadoran family who lives down the street that just lost their work visa and got deported back to a country they barely know? How will Roseanne Conner confront that situation?

I’m not against using a sitcom as a platform for political debate, but they better as hell show the actual consequences of what it means to have Donald Trump as a President and not cherry pick the issue that might endear sympathy for a woman who voted for a man whose policies are detrimental to all working-class families, white or otherwise.

I am kind of strangely looking forward to the revival, because of Dan, and Darlene, and Becky #2, and Jackie Harris, but not if it means making bigotry relatable.

via The Blaze

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.