Tom Arnold Says He Warned ‘Roseanne’ Crew To Take Roseanne Barr’s Phone Away From Her

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Tom Arnold says he knew Roseanne Barr’s sitcom reboot would not end well. The actor, who was married to the Roseanne star from 1990 to 1994 and also worked as a writer and actor on the original incarnation of her show, believes his ex-wife self-sabotaged when she posted offensive tweets and that she no longer wanted to do the ABC reboot after one season.

Barr was fired by ABC and her show canceled after she posted a racist tweet on Monday. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Arnold agreed that the Roseanne cancelation “had to happen.”

“I am going to tell you the truth, she wanted it to happen, if you saw how her tweets escalated this weekend. If it hadn’t happened yesterday, this season would have been so awful for everyone every day because she would have felt like she was [being] taken advantage [of], just like when I left the show.”

Tom Arnold also pointed to ABC, saying the network lost up to $1 billion dollars over the sudden cancelation of Roseanne, “all because somebody didn’t say, ‘Get that phone out of her hand.'” Tom Arnold described Roseanne Barr as ” a loose cannon” who would not have said racist things on TV but couldn’t help herself when she had that phone in her hand.

Arnold, who was not invited back to reprise his role as Conner family friend Arnie Thomas when the Roseanne revival was announced, revealed that he went so far as to tell Roseanne’s family and the crew on her ABC sitcom that someone needed to take her phone away from her. When Barr refused to give up her phone, Arnold drafted her a statement designed to inform fans she was going to spend less time on Twitter. Arnold told THR the following.

“I wrote a whole thing for her a month ago and sent it over [to the crew] that said, ‘I am going to take a step back, it was fun at first, but now I can see how much negativity there is out there and people are getting hurt and I am going to take a step back and I am hoping my fans will too.’ And then if her crazy tweets came out, she could point to that and say, ‘But I have taken a step back.'”


While Tom Arnold’s divorce from Roseanne Barr was messy, he told THR he will always have a protective bond with her and her children. Still, Tom told CNN he had “a feeling” the Roseanne reboot would blow up when he first heard the show was coming back, in part due to his ex-wife’s support of Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories.

“When I read her social media in the very beginning, and I saw how she was so into the conspiracy stuff with Donald Trump and so how far gone she was, and the ‘pizzagate’ and Hillary is a pedophile and Obama wasn’t born here, she was, you know, a ‘birther,’ and how crazy that was — I just knew that this would not end well,” Arnold told CNN.

While Roseanne Barr’s days as Roseanne Conner are now done, Tom Arnold thinks his ex should embrace her once-beloved TV character. Or she can just do what she has been doing.

In his own tweet about the situation, Tom Arnold wrote, “On the bright side now that Roseanne Barr is permanently unemployable she can finally get inside the head of Roseanne Connor. Really sink her teeth into the character. Walk in her shoes. Become one with. Inhabit the soul of. Do a whole Daniel Day Lewis thing. Or she could tweet.”