PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Roseanne Barr said her character’s support for President Donald Trump in the revived sitcom “Roseanne” is a reflection of her own views and also true to the show’s roots.
The sitcom brings the Conner family and the life of the country up to date when it debuts March 27 on ABC.
“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,” Barr said Monday.
The show also seeks to address the polarization that has split families, she said, calling such divisiveness “not American.”
The show’s extended family represents a “full cross-section of ideas and beliefs,” said Bruce Helford, among the executive producers and actors taking part in a Q&A with TV critics. “There’s no agenda on anybody’s part but to get honest feelings out there, and within a family that’s relatable,” Helford said.
Sara Gilbert, who’s among the original returning cast members, echoed him.
“People feel like they can’t disagree and still love each other and talk to each other. It’s a great thing to have a family divided by politics but still filled with love,” Gilbert said.
Barr was pushed to defend her character’s support for Trump in light of what a reporter called his racism and xenophobia. The question followed a clip from the original show in which her character vehemently decries her son’s apparent racism.
“Well, that’s your opinion,” Barr replied to the reporter, adding that Trump says “a lot of crazy (expletive).”
“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.”
Asked if she’d support Oprah Winfrey or, say, activist-actress Susan Sarandon for president, Barr replied that she herself would be a better president than either of them or, possibly, even Trump.
The new “Roseanne” reunites Barr with John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf and other original cast members, somehow getting past that Goodman’s character, Dan Conner, was said to have died when the series ended its 1988-97 run.
In a clip from the new show, Conner is shown being awakened in bed by Barr because she fears he’s dead.
“I thought it was a clever way to do it, handle it and get it out of the way,” Goodman told critics.