ABC has announced an October 16th release date for The Conners, a spin-off of the short-lived return of Roseanne that is notably absent one key person, Roseanne Barr, the show’s main character. Roseanne was almost immediately re-canceled when Barr got on Twitter and said that former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett looked like the “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby.”
When ABC announced that Roseanne would be making a comeback after nearly 20 years off the air, people were understandably excited. The first run of the show made it something of a national treasure about a cooky, but relatable working-class family who happened to also be hilarious. But, the show’s audience was split after the return as Barr’s real-life support of Donald Trump and the Republican party became something that her character on the show was expressing support of as well.
Adding insult to injury, in the same week that ABC announces the premiere date for The Conners, Barr is also set to appear on Fox News’ show Hannity for her first interview since being fired by ABC. Going on Hannity is an unsurprisingly fitting choice. Shortly after her comments about Jarrett, Barr deleted the tweets, issued an apology, and dropped off of social media. Subsequently, there’s been so much of time for everyone else to discuss the issue and develop opinions about it during Barr’s radio silence. It’s highly unlikely that Sean Hannity of all the news pundits in the universe is really going to take her to task on any of her statements, but rather give her a soft space to explain and try to make a case for herself.
Still, there is a silent pouring of salt into Barr’s wounds taking place whether you think she deserves it or not. Look at her show’s viewership by region, half of America was already done with her after Rosanne re-premiered. An even bigger chunk was done after her comments, and ABC’s cancellation of the show followed by Barr’s silence basically ensured that audience members were collectively forced to cut her off. It’s so unprecedented that a show moves on without the main character, but like with any real family, there are some lines you can’t cross unless you’re ready for people to move on from you. Now, with The Conners— the product of all the years she put into Roseanne— going on without her, Barr’s fictional family is abandoning her too. That’s kinda sad, but it’s also how life goes.