Roseanne Conner has returned to television as a supporter of Donald Trump’s presidency (actress Roseanne Barr, herself, is also a supporter), but the ABC reboot did not return over two decades later for a pro-Trump audience, according to the show’s star Laurie Metcalf.
In an exclusive sneak peek at Sunday Today with Willie Geist, Metcalf, 62, discusses the ratings success of the Roseanne reboot and the cultural reaction surrounding the image of a family in America’s current political climate, especially that of a blue-collar Midwestern family like Roseanne‘s.
“I don’t know why it got labeled that exactly for Trump’s America because I don’t think it’s that. We couldn’t not address it,” she says, referring to the nation’s deep political divide.
In the show, Roseanne voted for President Trump while her sister Jackie (Metcalf) was against the candidate, most notably wearing a knitted pink cat-eared “pussy” hat and a “Nasty Woman” shirt in the premiere episode.
“I thought the writers did it really well. That it caused a rift in the family. They’re not consciously writing it for a certain political view,” Metcalf explains to Geist about depicting how the decision to vote for Trump could divide members of a household. Rather than portraying a pro or anti-Trump agenda, Roseanne and Jackie are examples of a realistic citizen on both sides of the aisle.
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“But some of the issues that are on these new shows, some are different like opioids addiction. And some are exactly the same of what they were 20 years ago,” Metcalf adds.
Barr previously told PEOPLE she’s ecstatic that Roseanne will continue to touch on modern-day topics, including politics.
“It’s important to talk. Now, it seems like every topic is being discussed, and I’m happy with that,” she said in March, adding that she voted for Trump to “shake up the status quo.”
“I think we need to converse more, but more than anything we need to get involved and run our government for ourselves instead of sitting back and wanting somebody else to do it,” Barr said. “Even voting isn’t enough. You have to be involved. I talk about this with my grandkids – you have to get in there and get your hands dirty if you want things to go the way you want them to go. We’re lucky in this country that we can do that. We can really get our hands dirty and put our big collective shoulders to the wheel and change and fix things. I think that’s what’s exciting about our country right now.”
Roseanne airs Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC and Sunday Today with Willie Geist airs Sundays (8 a.m. ET) on NBC.