Roseanne star, John Goodman, who has played the role of the willingly-suffering hubby of the title character, Dan Connor, is currently making his rounds to various media outlets, now that the official debut of The Connors, has been set for mid-October 2018.
While speaking to the industry’s foremost trade paper, The Hollywood Reporter, the actor offloaded all the emotions that had been brewing since the life-altering fiasco, involving his longtime co-star and friend, comedian Roseanne Barr, who orchestrated a national shit storm — when she tweeted what she claimed to be an “Ambien-induced” message to former Obama aide, Valerie Jarrett.
The tweet “heard round the world” was a damning insult that carries historical references that are typically used to demean and assault the physical attributes of Black women.
And once the public outrage gained traction, ABC had no choice but to take swift action by publicly condemning Barr’s ill-fated decision to compare Jarrett to “the planet of the apes,” and then proceed to permanently remove her from the hit show she created two decades ago.
Barr’s departure was met with shock and awe, as fans of the sitcom about a White blue collar family that’s headed by a matriarch, who serves as the prime blueprint of what Trump’s bigoted America looks like, were shocked and dismayed at the prospect of no longer being able to access programming — that endorses their narrow-minded views.
While those in favor of her immediate dismissal, were in awe at the quickness with which producers dealt with Barr’s abhorrent behavior, and also relieved at the notion that Trump’s America would suffer the consequences of witnessing the downfall of a real life celebrated bigot.
It didn’t take long for ABC to come back with an alternative, that would prevent the drastic loss of their most profitable staple from causing a catastrophic situation that would prove unrecoverable. And so the behind-the-scenes reshuffling birthed an ambitious spinoff idea that was explained as the best case scenario for all involved.
Once the announcement was made with the working title that ended up being the real thing, there was an expected swell of disapproval from naysayers, who began to view ABC as the network that thrives on the business model that’s solely reliant on “bringing home the bacon,” at whatever cost.
In an effort to curb the unenthusiastic reception to the spinoff, ABC sold it as the only viable option that would ensure that the security of innocent parties, who didn’t support Barr’s troubling view points about race would be spared the punishment for her actions.
But in the midst of all the erupted chaos was the sobering reality of how the network was willing to resurrect a vehicle, that was deemed viable for the current climate — that’s being managed by a toxic administration headed by a president who champions the endorsed religion of White supremacy.
Once the reboot made it’s long-awaited debut this past spring, the numbers were strong and reassuring, as the media performed the celebratory ritual of vibrant headlines, that cemented the big win for a sitcom that basically showcased episodes depicting how a middle-aged White woman with an uncouth disposition — can’t sleep at night because she’s concerned about the presence of a Muslim family.
The fact that Roseanne Barr ended up disgracefully writing herself out of the very show she manifested, is symbolic of how ABC fucked up in the first place.
Executives stupidly trusted the antics of a comedian who wasn’t funny enough to overcome a real life snafu, that proved her blatant racism and also outed those in power, who were willing to overlook the diseased messaging of her platform.
And now, the promotional tour for The Connors has commenced, as once again, we’re assured that things will be very different this time, since Barr has been barred from having any creative control, and has even relinquished her rights to reap any financial rewards from the spinoff.
While that might be true, there’s no doubt that she was given an epic pay day for her immense sacrifice.
John Goodman’s chat with The Hollywood Reporter also reveals how he’s been faring since he abruptly lost his partner-in-crime, and from what he divulges, the adjustment has been brutal.
The “brokenhearted” actor admits that the months following the network’s debacle, slumped him into a depressive state:
“I’m a depressive anyway, so any excuse that I can get to lower myself, I will. But that had a great deal to do with it, more than I wanted to admit.”
And then he offered his unyielding loyalty to his former co-star by vouching for her as a way to thwart the character assassination, that was rightfully levied on someone who more than earned her period of national shaming.
“I know for a fact that she’s not a racist.” “I’ll put it this way, I was surprised at the response. And that’s probably all I should say about it.”
Goodman seized the opportunity to confirm that “Roseanne Connor” will be killed off, and explained how her demise will affect the mood of his character.
But what’s troubling about Goodman’s attitude is embedded in the tone-deaf approach to something that’s much bigger than his own personal loss. His inability to acknowledge how Barr’s insensitivity and gross negligence was supposed to result in her termination, is the reason why White privilege remains an active ingredient in this potently biased climate.
As a White man who dwells in a country that easily recognizes his value without question or issue, it’s easy for Goodman to stick up for a White woman who callously degraded an accomplished and respected Black woman with just one click. He has no concept of what it means to be systematically regulated as expendable, based on skin color or religion.
And with a network like ABC, utilizing its influence by misguidedly attempting to ride the wave of a contemptuous atmosphere, by initially green lighting a vehicle that portrays the bigoted antics of a popular character in order to secure profitable returns — it’s clear that show business only adheres to the language of dollars and cents — even if the methods are dishonorable.
The Roseanne spinoff just proves how greed wins out, even when it’s repurposed to resemble a more dignified version of a shittier original, that was distorted by scandal.
No matter how much The Connors are prettied up with the renderings of a modern day family, complete with the token children of color, and all the other accompaniments that are meant to evoke the level of “wokeness,” that makes it passable — there will always be the underlining proof of how its genesis was inspired by the virus of these times.
If the alphabet network really wanted to scrub away the grime of the crime that was exacted when they gave a racist comedian another golden opportunity to be the mascot of Trump’s America — there should’ve been a firm refusal to consider a spinoff that is essentially an extension of the very thing that needs to buried and forgotten.
There’s no possible way to enjoy The Connors without the weirdness of why and how the Connors came into existence, without Mrs. Connor hovering like a disturbed beehive that threatens to sting away the fun.
And there’s also the sting of how ABC failed to make good what was wronged, when Roseanne was brought back to give Trump’s America the laughs they require, to stay guiltless in their quest to ceremoniously enjoy their superiority at the expense of the oppressed.
Greed is a bitch, and whether or not the biggest bitch of all is on the screen or not, there’s no doubt that with the reality of The Connors, she’s definitely getting the last laugh — all the way to the bank.