This post, originally published Jan. 11, has been updated.
“Roseanne” came back to TV. On the show, Roseanne Conner is a Trump supporter.
“It’s just realistic,” Roseanne Barr said earlier this year of the character she plays. “Roseanne” is, after all, a show about a working-class family. And Barr, speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour, said she believes “it was working-class people who elected Trump.”
After the revival premiered on Tuesday night, the White House’s director of social media celebrated “Roseanne’s” return:
As did President Trump’s son, after the reboot’s impressive ratings were released:
On Wednesday, President Trump even called Barr to congratulate her. The White House confirmed to the New York Times that the call took place. According to their reporting, Trump was impressed by the revival’s “huge” ratings – and also thanked Barr for supporting him.
Supportive tweets from the #MAGA parts of the Internet likely were about more than the title character’s support of Trump. In real life, Barr’s online presence is beloved by the pro-Trump Internet and its diaspora. In recent years, the comedian has gone viral among Trump supporters on a regular basis, for everything from owning liberals online to promoting conspiracy theories about Seth Rich.
Her tweets get reposted on Trump Internet mainstays like the “r/The_Donald” subreddit, where they are approvingly upvoted thousands of times.
Although Barr recently deleted most of her past tweets, her active presence on the Trump Internet has continued in the months since she first announced that “Roseanne” was coming back to TV.
“4 those who wonder-back in the day when I was called a ‘liberal’ by journalists, I used to answer-‘I’m not a Liberal, I’m a radical’ & I still am-I voted Trump 2 shake up the status quo & the staid establishment,” Barr tweeted in December, a couple of days before she erased her Twitter history. The tweet was one of several in which the comedian defended her support of Trump. She then announced plans to “retire,” prompting a small wave of news coverage. Barr later clarified that she intended to take a social media break, not retire from acting.
The December exchange may have confused those who were tuning in to Barr’s views for the first time because of the revival of her TV show. However, Barr has been tweeting similar things for a while:
It’s not just Barr’s generic support of Trump that makes her a hero to the pro-Trump Internet. It’s also her apparently deep knowledge of and active engagement with the memes and conspiracy theories that Only True Trump Fans Online would know.
Barr has tweeted a YouTube video about “Pedogate,” which essentially rehashed the 2009 arrest of a local campaign manager for Sen. John McCain for allegations of child molestation. “Pedogate” is the umbrella term for a series of conspiracy theories that accuse powerful figures — these days, often Trump’s enemies — of being part of a secret ring of pedophiles. Pizzagate is probably the most famous iteration of that conspiracy.
She has tweeted about Pizzagate, too, linking to YouTube videos promoting or defending the conspiracy theory and its amplifiers.
Barr has also tweeted about Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee staffer who was shot in Washington. Despite pleas from his family, online sleuths insisted that Rich’s death was a political assassination attempt that was then covered up by the Clintons. This conspiracy theory regularly goes viral on the pro-Trump Internet.
To add to her Trump Internet bona fides, Barr is also one of the few celebrities with mainstream relevance to run a verified account on Gab, a social media platform that has pitched itself as a “free speech” alternative to Twitter. Barr has been on Gab since November 2016, the same month that the pro-Trump Internet flocked to the platform after Twitter’s first big crackdown on users who violated its rules against “hateful conduct,” fearing censorship.
The Daily Beast noted over the summer that Barr’s political views have been hard to pin down over time. She once sought the Green Party nomination for the presidency. Her dislike of traditional politicians and support for Israel predate her current devotion to the conspiracy theories of the pro-Trump Internet, and also seem to inform some of the topics that she regularly tweets about — for instance, her intense dislike of the Clinton family.
In August 2016, the Beast reported, Barr tweeted repeatedly about the Clintons and Israel, accusing Hillary of being “surrounded by jew haters,” among other things.
Barr was on Twitter as the new “Roseanne” aired, retweeting praise from viewers (and a screenshot of #Roseanne trending on Twitter). In an interview with USA Today, Barr said she was temporarily going to stay away from politics on her Twitter feed. But, she added, “If I get renewed, you might see me back out there.”