John Goodman took the opportunity to defend his former Roseanne castmate, Roseanne Barr, in an interview with the Sunday Times. Roseanne notably premiered to high ratings before it was quickly canceled weeks later, after Barr directed racially-tinged insults at President Barack Obama’s former senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, on Twitter.
“I know, I know, for a fact that she’s not a racist,” Goodman told The Times. The 66-year-old actor commended Barr for releasing her rights to the show and allowing him the opportunity to continue playing the role of Dan Conners in the Roseanne-less spinoff of the show, The Conners.
“She had to sign a paper saying that she relinquished all her rights to the show so that we could go on,” he adds.
Goodman revealed that he reached out to Barr after hearing the news to thank the comedian, but received no response.
Despite the severity in the public response to Barr’s tweets, Goodman was still caught off guard when ABC pulled the plug on a show that premiered to an audience of 18.44 million and set records for a broadcast audience.
“I was surprised. I’ll put it this way, I was surprised at the response. And that’s probably all I should say about it.”
While Goodman was quiet about the manner in which his current employers removed Barr, as well as the network quietly pulling the plug on any Emmy campaign for the show, he held nothing back when speaking about how the situation triggered his depression, something he admits has affected him his entire life.
“I was brokenhearted, but I thought, ‘OK, it’s just show business, I’m going to let it go,'” Goodman told The Times when discussing the cancellation. “But I went through a period, about a month, where I was very depressed. I’m a depressive anyway, so any excuse that I can get to lower myself, I will. But that had a great deal to do with it, more than I wanted to admit.”
While Goodman and Barr haven’t spoken since Roseanne’s cancellation, reports from ET Online show that Barr tweeted support for Goodman and fellow co-star Laurie Metcalf in the weeks following the show’s cancellation.
“I just wish ABC had not thrown two of the greatest actors in the world out with me-Laurie and John,” said Barr in her tweets, which have since been deleted. “I’m so sick over this-they will never have better character actors on their network.”
While Barr has sunk away from the limelight since the immediate aftermath of the show’s cancellation, she has recently revealed in a tweet that she has new doctors. Barr cited her being on Ambien as the reason for the original offensive tweet towards Jarrett. The Conners will premier on Tuesday, October 16, in Roseanne‘s old time-slot of 8 p.m. ET.