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Roseanne Barr Reacts to ‘The Conners’: ‘I AIN’T DEAD, BITCHES!!!!’

Roseanne Barr takes part in a special event and podcast taping at Stand Up NY, Thursday, July 26, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Craig Ruttle / Associated Press

Roseanne Barr reacted Tuesday night to the launch of The Conners, ABC’s attempt to reboot her smash hit series after she was fired from the show earlier his year for a controversial tweet about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett.

The new series killed off its main character in the first episode due to an opioid overdose — an attempt, perhaps, to relate to the struggles of working-class Americans, without the actor to whom those Americans had once related.

Roseanne reacted on Twitter, in all caps: “I AIN’T DEAD, BITCHES!!!!”

Literally minutes before, Barr and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach — a Breitbart News contributor — issued a press statement with more diplomatic language:

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.

“This was a choice the network did not have to make. 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.”

The controversy appeared to have caused problems at YouTube, as fans clicked on a link Roseanne had tweeted the day before, encouraging them to subscribe to her YouTube channel. Both her channel and the main site were down as of 10:00 p.m. EDT Tuesday afternoon. (Update: YouTube restored service later Tuesday evening, without explanation. SiliconValley.com indicated that the reason for the outage remained unclear.)

Main YouTube site

Roseanne channel

Critics’ opinions on The Conners were mixed. The Associated Press called it a “triumph”; others disagreed.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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