shake things up and, you know, try something different," the actress tells reporters of her support of Trump at TCA.
It didn't take long before the subject of Donald Trump arose during a panel Monday previewing the return of ABC's Roseanne at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour.
With ABC bringing the working-class Conner family Roseanne back to primetime, it's no surprise that Roseanne Barr's personal politics are playing a role in her TV counterpart's voting history. When a reporter asked about Barr and John Goodman's leading characters being Trump supporters in the new season, Barr tried to deflect the question before she eventually offered up some insight.
"In The Rosanne Show, I've always tried to have it be a true reflection of the society we live in. I feel like half the people voted for Trump and half didn't, so it's just realistic," she said, adding that she's tried to make the show a realistic portrayal of the working class, in particular. "And, in fact, it was working-class people who elected Trump, so I felt like that was very real and something that needed to be discussed and especially about polarization in the family and people actually hating other people for the way they voted, which I feel is not American."
During her 30 minutes before reporters Monday, Barr was pushed multiple times to explain how her politics impacted the show. At first, she deferred the question to showrunner Bruce Helford, who said the writing staff — which counts Barr as it did during the show's original run — "had a lot of discussions" about the characters' personal beliefs. "What we wanted to do was find a way for this family, which represents a cross-section of values and beliefs, and get a debate going in an honest and real way — whether that's pro- or anti-Trump or Jill Stein, it was really about getting dialogue going in an honest way," he said. "There's no agenda on anybody's part."
Helford reiterated something ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey admitted last year — that the Disney-owned network largely catered to upscale, Democratic viewers with Roseanne serving as a way to cater to working-class Americans as the show originally did in the 1990s. "There's no show that's dealing in the same way with these kinds of issues," Helford said. "We have a beloved place in the hearts of American viewers and wanted to do something that would heal things and put all the cards on the table."