Roseanne Barr’s former castmates are speaking out following her not-so-happy reaction to the death of her character on The Conners premiere. The iconic TV mom was killed off on the pilot episode of the Roseanne spinoff via an overdose of prescription pain meds after knee surgery.
Barr, who previously came up with an opioid storyline for her character on the final season of Roseanne, made her displeasure known following the first episode of the new ABC sitcom. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Barr took to Twitter to write, “I ain’t dead b*tches!”
The former ABC star also posted a lengthy joint statement with her spiritual advisor Rabbi Shmuley Boteach to Facebook, blasting the network for the “grim” and “morbid” demise of her character.
The Conners cast members Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman addressed their former TV mom’s reaction to the new show on ABC’s Good Morning America. Goranson, who played Barr’s eldest daughter Becky Conner on the original Roseanne series, said the castmates all miss their matriarch and hope to reconcile with her sometime in the future.
“We really miss Roseanne and love her very much. Her spirit is still very much with us, so we understand that she’s hurting right now and she’s in pain. She’s always with us, so hopefully we can see her and kind of remedy this at some point in time, I hope.”
Fishman, who plays son DJ Conner, said the set “definitely had a different feel” without Roseanne, but he defended the decision to kill her character off with an overdose, citing the Roseanne story arc in the Season 10 episode “Netflix and Chill” which dealt with her addiction to painkillers.
“The tone of the way she passed away was related to last season. If you listen to our producers, they really wanted to take a real crisis that’s happening to our country and find a way to give voice to that. I know that the reaction to that is going to be different for different people, but we’ve always tried to tackle big topics and be very honest about them.”
Ahead of The Conners premiere, Sara Gilbert, who plays Barr’s daughter Darlene on the show, told Good Morning America it was “emotional” moving on without the family matriarch after Barr was fired by ABC over a racist tweet.
“We have been a cast for 30 years,” Gilbert told GMA. “It was emotional moving forward, but then I think what it allowed us to do is almost every person at some point in their life redefines their family without the matriarch, and so it gave us a chance to look at, how does it affect the family? How do different people fill in different roles and lean on each other?”
In May, Roseanne Barr was fired by ABC after she posted a racist tweet about former White House aide Valerie Jarrett. At the time, several of Barr’s heartbroken co-stars, including her TV kids Gilbert and Fishman, denounced her actions on Twitter. Barr angrily called her co-stars out for not having her back, then later said she forgave them.
The Conners airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.