When Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, and the other stars of Roseanne first brought the show to TV, they earned praise for reflecting middle-class America. Now, years later, the revival of Roseanne stars the same actors with a few additions chosen to update the mirror that the sitcom wants to hold up to the nation.
One new member of the cast, Ames McNamara, portrays Darlene’s son Mark, who is seen on the show stating his preference for girls’ clothing. Executive producer Sara Gilbert (who plays Darlene) and star Roseanne Barr have faced backlash over this gender-neutral character. But Sara pointed out to EW that there are children who prefer to wear gender non-conforming fashions, and she felt it was important to continue Roseanne’s tradition of reflecting the world in which the characters live.
“[The boy who likes to wear girls’ clothes] represents the world. This is a show that’s always been able to represent the world and talk about it without being so issue-heavy.”
In her desire to represent the real world, Gilbert noted that she knows children like the little boy on Roseanne. And while the sitcom version of a gender non-conforming child is playing out on the TV screen, some celebrity kids have also attracted attention to their preference for wearing gender-neutral or gender-fluid fashions.
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, for example, have faced backlash for letting their child Shiloh Jolie-Pitt wear suits rather than dresses, as the Inquisitr reported. Megan Fox and Brian Green found themselves forced to defend their son’s preference for wearing dresses. Megan posted a photo showing images of her family, including her son Noah wearing a frock with a Frozen theme.
Just like Angelina Jolie and Megan Fox, the Roseanne revival has sparked backlash for its gender-fluid character. Roseanne Barr and Sara Gilbert, who are executive producers as well as stars in the reboot, are facing questions about how the character played by Barr can support Trump while showing so much support for a little boy who prefers to wear girls’ clothes, pointed out Pop Culture.
“The biggest debate appears to be over the sitcom’s decision to portray Roseanne Conner (Barr) and her husband Dan (John Goodman) as Trump supporters, while also showing them as supportive figures in their young, gender non-conforming grandson’s life.”
In one recent episode, Roseanne is shown defending her grandson Mark (Ames McNamara) because she is concerned that his preference for wearing girls’ clothes will cause him to be bullied. Twitter lit up with viewers who felt that depiction of a Trump supporter is not realistic.
“Ah, a Trump supporter who has the compassion to protect their gender fluid grandson at school but also doesn’t care about Trump’s LGBTW rhetoric is a sh—y person and also a fantasy,” wrote one Twitter user.
As reported by the Inquisitr, the young actor, Ames McNamara, who has tackled this controversial role, recently talked about the gender non-conforming aspect of his role with ABC News. As shown in the video below, Ames is candid about his views on the significance of his character.
But some felt that showing Rosanne as a woman who supported Trump yet also defended her gender non-conforming grandson was a reflection of real life, with one calling it an example of “But You’re Special” syndrome.
On Roseanne protecting the gender fluid grandson vs. supporting Trump despite the administration’s anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. This is actually something many of us who are queer from conservative families experience. I call it the “But You’re Special” syndrome. Our families grow to— Emerson Collins (@ActuallyEmerson) March 28, 2018
Some praised the revival’s decision to turn the spotlight on a child who is gender non-conforming, but those same Twitter users wanted more about the political ramifications of the character’s support for Trump.
“Tackling the gender non-conforming dress of Roseanne’s grandson was classic [Roseanne], but I wish they’d confronted the fact that her Trump/Pence vote is a giant step toward making the world worse for him,” wrote another user.