Donald Trump’s name will not be mentioned on the revival of Roseanne – at least, not during the first season, according to the Huffington Post. As you may have heard, Roseanne Barr herself is something of a Trump fan, and her enthusiasm for the 45th president has made its way onto the show’s revival. The first two episodes have already aired, and [spoiler alert] already, Roseanne (the character) has been vocal about supporting Trump, setting up a year-long feud between herself and her sister, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf).
What you may not have noticed, however, is that the show never actually mentioned the president’s name. Watch the two episodes again: you don’t once hear the word “Trump.” What’s more, Sara Gilbert, who plays Roseanne’s youngest daughter Darlene Conner on the show and is also a co-producer, says that the show will not mention his name – this season, anyway.
Appearing on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Gilbert made it clear that Roseanne is the only person in the Conner family who supports Trump. To that end, while he may be mentioned obliquely or indirectly, his name is off-limits.
“We never say his name, actually, in the show.”
So how is it that the driving force behind the show (Roseanne herself) can be a Trump supporter, and even get her support worked into the show’s plot, but not have the president mentioned by name?
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) April 1, 2018
Long story short: excluding situations where someone is given near-total creative control over a concept, writing a TV show is a collaborative effort, filled with give-and-take between the writers, producers, actors, and network. In other words, though the star of the show may be big on Trump, not everyone else on the team is. So putting Trump front and center on the show may be a nod to Roseanne (the actor’s) support of him, as well as a compelling plot point for the show. But the writers aren’t going to go full-bore for Trump. Deftly avoiding mentioning him by name is one way to go about that.
Meanwhile, Gilbert says that the show isn’t going to be about politics specifically. Rather, it will be about how divisive politics affect an American family.
“It’s really about what happens to a family when there’s a political divide.”
In case you were wondering, another show that has been revived this season, Will & Grace, has also made Trump a part of the show, on the first episode and at least one other later episode. In neither episode was he mentioned by name, just like on Roseanne.