When “Roseanne” returns to ABC on March 27 after almost two decades off the air, it will include at least one update: Roseanne Conner will be a Trump supporter.
“I’ve always attempted to portray a realistic portrait of the American people and of working-class people. And in fact it was working-class people who elected Trump,” the show’s creator, Roseanne Barr, said Monday at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif., the Associated Press reported.
“Half the country voted for him, half of them didn’t. It’s just realistic,” she added, according to the New York Times.
The move is in keeping with the show’s ethos. The sitcom stood out when it debuted in 1988 for its portrayal of a blue-collar couple living in Illinois and struggling to make ends meet to support their three children. It was a story line not often seen on television at the time.
The reboot, which includes most of the original cast, including John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf, will be in that same spirit. The family “will continue to deal with the economic challenges of living pay check to pay check in 2018,” Deadline reported.
The show’s creators didn’t say if any other characters will be portrayed as Trump supporters. Bruce Helford, one of the show’s executive producers, said on Monday that the Conners will represent a “full cross-section of ideas and beliefs.”
It appears at least one story line might involve the family becoming divided over politics.
“This is a time when our country is divided,” Sara Gilbert, one of the returning cast members from the original series, said on Monday, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “We talk about [politics] in the context of a family. People feel like they can’t disagree and still love and talk to each other. It’s a great opportunity to have a family divided by politics but is still filled with love. What a great thing to bring into this country right now.”
Barr echoed this, saying that in the reboot she sought to address “polarization in the family and people actually hating other people for the way they voted, which I feel is not American.”
The main character’s political views will mirror those of Barr herself, who so frequently offers blunt, pro-Trump opinions on Twitter that many users have called for a boycott of the reboot with the hashtag #BoycottRoseanne.
During the Q&A session Monday, “Barr was pushed to defend her character’s support for Trump in light of what a reporter called his racism and xenophobia,” the AP reported.
She deferred the questions at first, but finally responded by saying that though she supports the president, “I’m not a Trump apologist.”
“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,” she continued. “No one’s brainwashed into agreeing with 100 percent of what anybody says, let alone a politician or a candidate.”
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