Roseanne Barr is far from happy about her character being killed off The Conners—the reboot to the reboot of her successful sitcom Roseanne, and she has made sure that the world knows it.
Just hours after ABC premiered the Roseanne-less show on Tuesday, October 16th, Barr fired back, letting everyone know that she didn’t like the way they chose to get rid of her character, who died due to an accidental opioid overdose.
“I AIN’T DEAD, BITCHES!!!!” Roseanne tweeted.
She eventually deleted that tweet and came back with a more relaxed response via a statement released on her spiritual teacher Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s Facebook page.
“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,” the statement reads in part.
The lengthy statement went on to slam ABC’s cancellation of Roseanne, calling it a result of “fear, hubris, and a refusal to forgive.”
ABC fired Roseanne and canceled her namesake sitcom after she posted a racist tweet comparing former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett to an ape. Roseanne later blamed her outburst on Ambien—whose makers, in an unprecedented move, responded by saying “racism is not a known side effect” to their drug.
The show had just been rebooted, and two months prior, ABC had ordered 13 episodes for Season 11. In mid-June, the show was revived as a spinoff titled The Conners, which has the same cast as Roseanne (minus Roseanne, of course).
The Conners‘ highly anticipated premiere dipped slightly—about 35 perecent—compared to ratings from the reboot’s premiere last spring. Despite the dip, the premiere was still considered a success. It beat NBC’s The Voice, but lost to NCIS on CBS.
The premiere found Dan (John Goodman), Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) and Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and the rest of the Conner family three weeks after the shocking death of their wife/sister/mother.
At first, the family thought Roseanne had died from a heart attack, but it was later revealed that it was an accidental overdose that killed her, leaving Dan in disbelief since he claims he flushed all her pills.
Dan later found out that Roseanne had been exchanging pills with their neighbors, leading to a line that was obviously meant to refer to the circumstances surrounding Barr’s dismissal from the show.
“She was going to do what she was going to do,” Dan said. “She never listened to a damn person in her life.”
Read Roseanne’s full statement about her departure from the show below:
Roseanne Barr and her longtime Rabbi and friend, World Values Network Founder Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, have issued the following statement regarding the cancellation of Roseanne and the premiere of The Conners:
“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.
“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. 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.
“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. 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. In a hyper-partisan climate, people will sometimes make the mistake of speaking with words that do not truly reflect who they are. However, it is the power of forgiveness that defines our humanity.
“Our society needs to heal on many levels. What better way for healing than a shared moment, once a week, where we could have all enjoyed a compelling storyline featuring a witty character – a woman – who America connected with, not in spite of her flaws, but because of them. The cancellation of Roseanne is an opportunity squandered due in equal parts to fear, hubris, and a refusal to forgive.”