Roseanne Barr went on Twitter to express her opinion on how her character was killed off during The Conners‘ premiere on October 16. It was pretty simple, as she stated, “I AIN’T DEAD, B**CHES!!!!” The actress also released a joint statement with rabbi and World Values Network founder Shmuley Boteach, detailed the Hollywood Life.
“We regret that ABC chose to cancel Roseanne by killing off the Roseanne Conner character. That it was done through an opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show.”
The statement then went on to say that the network’s decision to fire the actress was due to Barr’s “inexcusable” but “not unforgivable mistake.”
Meanwhile, the executive producer, Tom Werner, defends the decision. He claims that the move wasn’t done to enact any sort of revenge on Roseanne, but rather, was used as an opportunity to spotlight the country’s opioid epidemic.
“Obviously we’re a comedy, but this is a problem that has affect tens of thousands of people…we felt this was something that could help shine a light on something, and what is wonderful about the show for me is that when it’s over, people have felt like the spent a half hour and it was worth their time.”
And certainly, the plot twist has fans buzzing. Meanwhile, it’s undeniable that the opioid epidemic is a huge problem in the United States.
For example, Roseanne’s character had knee pain towards the last episodes of the revival. That storyline was then expanded to include an opioid addiction, and later, an overdose.
And while there are many differing opinions on whether it was appropriate or not for the network to introduce an overdose on the show, it’s true that some people become addicted to opioids through legitimate doctors’ prescriptions, detailed Medline Plus. And as people become more tolerant to opioids and need higher doses, or cheaper alternatives, the risk increases. This can be the turning point when people switch from pills to heroin to achieve the “high” that the person becomes addicted to.
“I’m not what they think I am and I know that”— VICE News (@vicenews) October 16, 2018
Roseanne Barr told us about the tweet that got her fired from her own show.
See the interview on #VICENewsTonight at 7:30 PM EDT on @HBO. pic.twitter.com/J6ZXUn4BsX
And sometimes, even the prescriptions cannot be justified, as described by CNN. “The reasons for this could be truly inappropriate prescribing of opioids or merely lax documentation,” wrote the outlet.
But even with all that, some people don’t agree with the network’s decision. This includes the Daily Beast, which said that the overdose was “exceptionally problematic, vaguely mean-spirited, and upsetting.” Their conclusions were based on the context of Roseanne’s firing, and the connection the audience had with Barr’s character.
If you or a loved one is suffering from substance use disorders, and would like help or information, call the SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.