Lecy Goranson, who has portrayed the character Becky on Roseanne and now on The Conners for 30 years, recently recalled the moment she found out about Roseanne Barr’s infamous tweet to E! News. The beloved sitcom Roseanne was rebooted in 2017, but the show’s creator and star had developed some controversial opinions over the years. Barr tweeted, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” referring to Obama administration official Valerie Jarrett. Though the return of the show had received rave reviews, it was immediately cancelled after Barr’s racist tweet.
“I was in my apartment, and usually I have my little ritual where I’ll get up, get a coffee and turn on some jazz and sit at my computer,” Goranson recalled. “I remember sitting at my computer and just seeing the media around it and just feeling paralyzed. I felt paralysis. And then I managed to pick up the phone and text [Sara Gilbert], ‘We’re screwed.” Gilbert, who played Goranson’s younger sister Darlene, was reportedly behind the show’s reboot and introduction back into American culture.
“It was just so surreal and shocking and sad,” Goranson admitted. “Whatever you want to call it, it is racist, that being said I don’t think Roseanne is a racist, I think that is racist…I still don’t quite understand what she was trying to say. I don’t understand what the logic is. No one’s explained to me what it was supposed to mean, and I felt so confused by that. I really did.”
While Roseanne was understandably cancelled, ABC decided to continue on with the other characters in a spin-off called The Conners. The first episode premiered October 16, and it was revealed that Barr’s character had been killed off. The rest of the original cast, most of whom have been participating in the show since 1988, are attempting to move on without the initial star.
Goranson admitted that she circled around the thought “This is going to crumble,” upon hearing about Barr’s indiscretion. She has mostly stayed out of the entertainment industry over the past few years, but was excited to return to the character she originated in the ’80s. When ABC decided to continue the show without Barr, Barr took to Twitter to express her displeasure with the decision. Many people are on Barr’s side and believe that The Conners will fail without the show’s original main character.
“People have their opinions on any piece of art,” Goranson explained. “Of course I understand why that would be hers, but you know, it’s a different show. It’s a new show. It has a lot of elements of the old show, but it’s not the same show.”