John Goodman Has No Regrets About Defending Roseanne
Virtually no one had Roseanne Barr’s back after her 2018 racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, the Black senior advisor to Barack Obama who the comic compared to a lovechild of the “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes.” Despite the unlikely success of her Roseanne reboot, ABC yoinked the show from its schedule, calling her insults “abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values.” Talent agency ICM dropped her. The deepest cut came from TV daughter Sara Gilbert, who tweeted, “Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least.”
Amidst all the backlash, one of the only people who stood by Roseanne (the only person?) was John Goodman, her longtime Roseanne co-star. In an interview with The Times, Goodman revealed that he “was surprised at the response (to the tweet). And that’s probably all I should say about that. … I know for a fact that she’s not a racist.” You can call it loyalty to a friend or a questionable career move, but five years later, Goodman isn’t backing off that support.
“At the time I remember going to some kind of junket where they saw the pilot, and then the interviews, and it just turned into attack,” he recently told Variety. “And that made me very uncomfortable with them just attacking Roseanne. Yeah, I felt bad for her. I just feel terrible about the whole thing. We had a great time. And I love her. She’s just her own person.”
ABC recently renewed The Conners for a sixth season, continuing the retitled show that Frankensteined back to life after Roseanne was axed. Even though the show killed Roseanne’s character, could Goodman and Barr ever share an onscreen reunion? (After all, the earlier iteration of the show killed Goodman’s character, Dan, and here we are.) “I don’t know,” Goodman says on the prospect of working together again. “If she’d liked to… I just don’t know. I miss her. I wish her well.”
But a Conners reunion seems extremely unlikely, as Roseanne still holds a mighty grudge against Sara Gilbert. How dare Gilbert call out the Planet of the Apes tweet as abhorrent! "It was (Gilbert’s) tweet that canceled the show," Roseanne told Megyn Kelly last month, apparently washing her hands of the idea that her own tweet might have had something to do with it.
Condemning Barr’s words, in her view, was an act of violence. "They just tried to kill me and I felt like they killed my character and my character," she said. "I thought they were sending a message over the airwaves because they knew I had mental health issues. I thought they wanted me to kill myself. And all my friends did too. They said, ‘They're trying to push you to suicide.’”
Instead, Gilbert and the scores of celebs who denounced Roseanne pushed her to Fox Nation, where grievances could be screamed to the rafters under the guise of stand-up comedy. It just proves once and for all, outrage is never canceled.