ABC

Roseanne Barr is angry about being killed off in the first episode of 'The Conners'.
Image: Rachel Luna/Getty Images

Back in May, the reboot of Roseanne was cancelled after Roseanne Barr posted a racist remark on Twitter. 

That eventually led to The Conners, a Barr-free spinoff of Roseanne, which eventually aired on ABC Tuesday night. 

The end of Barr’s character, Roseanne Connor, was made clear from the very start. Her character was killed off in the first episode, eliminating the possibility of her existence in The Conners universe. 

That decision didn’t please Barr, who soon fired off a tweet.

Barr, in conjunction with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, also issued a statement following the show’s airing, unhappy with the decision. 

While they wished the best for the cast and crew on The Conners, they criticised ABC for killing off the Roseanne Conner character by an opioid overdose, which they said was a “grim and morbid” way to die.

The statement also addressed the tweet Barr made, saying that it was “an inexcusable — but not unforgivable — mistake” and we should learn to forgive and forget those terrible things she said about Valerie Jarrett. 

Here’s the full statement.

“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.

“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.”

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