Roseanne will not be as political as you think when it returns for its nine-episode run, but it also won’t ignore real-life events. The revival of Roseanne Barr’s 1980s/’90s sitcom will address the 2016 presidential election, which will show some members of the Conner clan butting heads a bit, but politics won’t dominate the new season of the ABC comedy.
In a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Roseanne Barr explained that she never considered that her character, Roseanne Conner, would ever vote for anyone besides Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Roseanne producers touched on the topic in the reboot because it was impossible not to when revisiting the lives of the working class Conner clan.
“It’s the conversation everybody is having,” Roseanne told THR. “Families are not speaking to each other. People are still shocked and upset about it. It’s the state of our country.”
While presidential opponents Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are not directly named in the Roseanne reboot, it’s pretty clear who the characters are talking about. Barr told THR that one of the Conners asks Roseanne, “How could you vote for him?,” while Hillary Clinton is referred to as “pantsuit.”
“I thought everybody was pretty liberal, so I was keepin’ an eye on it, making sure that it was evenhanded,” Roseanne Barr said of the Roseanne writers’ room.
“But the day we went to shoot [the pilot], I got with the writers, and I’m like, ‘You guys have to have a Hillary slam.’ ‘Cause they were all Trump slams.”
Barr was happy with the “pantsuit” line, telling Roseanne executive producer Bruce Helford, “That’s the line you gave me, and it was a great Hillary slam. I wanted to represent the country and how divided we are.”
Despite the election-related remarks that address life in the real world, Roseanne star Sara Gilbert said Roseanne is not about politics.
“People think this show is more political than it is,” the Roseanne star said. “It’s more about how a family deals with a disagreement like that.”
Indeed, Roseanne patriarch John Goodman said even if Hillary Clinton had won the presidential election, the reboot would have touched on the state the union.
“Yeah, because the Conner family is still sunk no matter who gets in [the White House],” Goodman told THR.
According to Variety, Roseanne Barr previously revealed that the premiere episode of the Roseanne revival will kick off with the revelation that her character voted for Donald Trump, while Roseanne’s sister Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) is pro-Hillary Clinton. The Roseanne revival will feature a family fight between Roseanne and Jackie as they discuss the election in the premiere episode, titled “Twenty Years to Life.”
While Roseanne supports the 45th president on TV and in real life, the revived show won’t dive heavily into Trump politics. But Roseanne will take on a few other Trump-worthy hot topics, including health care and illegal immigration, in the reboot of the show.
Roseanne Barr told TCA reporters that while the show is “a great opportunity to have a family divided by politics but is still filled with love,” she made it clear that she doesn’t want politics to take center stage.
“I’m a grandmother, I’m 65 years old,” Roseanne said, according to THR. “This whole arc of this season is about healthcare and stuff like that.”
Roseanne returns with an hour-long premiere on Tuesday, March 27 at 8 p.m ET on ABC.