Like many families across the country, the Conners won’t always be seeing eye-to-eye on political issues.
Roseanne Barr announced at Monday’s Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour that like herself in real life, her sitcom character is a Donald Trump supporter in the upcoming Roseanne revival heading to ABC in March.
“My show has always been I have always attempted to portray a realistic portrait of the American people and of working class, you know, working class people. And, in fact, it was working class people who elected Trump,” she said. “So I felt that, yeah, 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 actress added, “I noticed in the Roseanne shows I’ve always tried to have it be a true reflection of the society we live in. So I feel like half the people voted for Trump, and half didn’t, so it’s just realistic.”
Executive producer Bruce Helford noted that the show will tackle varying political views within the family “in a very honest way and a very real way.”
Sara Gilbert, who will revive her role as Roseanne’s daughter Darlene Conner, added that their TV family can disagree on politics but still love one another.
“It was a great opportunity to have a family that can be divided by politics, but still is filled with love. And what a great thing to bring into this country right now,” she said.
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Barr, 65, defended her character’s support for Trump after a reporter called him racist and xenophobic.
“Well, that’s your opinion,” the actress responded, adding that the president says “a lot of crazy s—.”
“I’m not a Trump apologist,” she continued. “There are a lot of things he’s said and done I don’t agree with, like there’s probably a lot of things Hillary Clinton has done and said that you don’t agree with. No one’s brainwashed into agreeing with 100 percent of what anybody says, let alone a politician or a candidate.”
It was revealed earlier this week that the new Roseanne season will feature a gender nonconforming character in Darlene’s son Mark (Ames McNamara), who wears traditionally feminine clothes but does not identify as transgender or gay.
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“It represents the world. This is a show that’s always been able to represent the world and talk about it without being so issue-heavy,” Gilbert told Entertainment Weekly. “We can do it through the dynamics of the family. I know kids like that and it seemed like a great character.”
ABC is planning a special hour-long premiere for Roseanne at 8 p.m. ET on March 27. The sitcom will settle into its regular time slot of 8 p.m. ET on April 3.