In his first interview since the cancellation of the smash-hit television sitcom, Roseanne, actor John Goodman defended his former co-star Roseanne Barr against accusations of racism.
Goodman told the Sunday Times that he fell into a depression after ABC canceled the wildly popular rebooted program in response to a racially charged tweet written by Barr, in which she likened former Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett to an ape.
“I went through a period, about a month, where I was very depressed,” the Raising Arizona actor told the British newspaper. “I’m a depressive anyway, so any excuse that I can get to lower myself, I will. But that had a great deal to do with it, more than I wanted to admit.”
ABC in June announced that a Conner family sitcom — without Barr — will return this fall after the fired actress agreed to have no role in the forthcoming season. “The Conners’ stories demonstrate that families can always find common ground through conversation, laughter and love. The spinoff will continue to portray contemporary issues that are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago,” the network said in a statement after ordering 10 episodes of the revamped sitcom.
Barr later apologized for the controversial tweet about Jarrett, describing it as a “bad joke” made “in bad taste.”
“I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks,” the 65-year-old actress said. “I should have known better. Forgive me-my joke was in bad taste.”
Goodman dismissed the notion that Barr’s tweet signified the pro-Trump comedian was a xenophobe.
“I know, I know, for a fact that she’s not a racist,” Goodman said of his former co-star. Goodman also revealed, aside from an email that the actor sent Barr after she agreed to forgo involvement in the new Conner sitcom, there has been no communication between the two. “I sent her an email and thanked her for that. I did not hear anything back, but she was going through hell at the time,” Goodman said. “And she’s still going through hell.
Barr, who has admitted to having a history of mental health issues, recently took to Twitter to report that she has new doctors and is “doing better now.”
got new Dr.’s and am doing better now. Thanks everyone! pic.twitter.com/XT57DBrzBs
— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) August 26, 2018
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