Roseanne Barr Slams ‘The Conners’ for ‘Unnecessary Grim and Morbid’ Overdose: ‘I Ain’t Dead, Bitches’

Roseanne Conner may be dead, but Roseanne Barr is still tweeting away.

Roseanne Barr
Roseanne Barr participates in the ‘Is America a Forgiving Nation?’ discussion at Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills on September 17, 2018. Rachel Luna/Getty Images

The actress, 65, took to Twitter after the Tuesday, October 16, series premiere of The Conners, in which her Roseanne character was killed off by an opioid overdose. “I AIN’T DEAD, BITCHES!!!!” she tweeted.

Barr and her longtime rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, later released a more formal statement to Us Weekly.

“While we wish the very best for the cast and production crew of The Conners, all of whom are deeply dedicated to their craft and were Roseanne’s cherished colleagues, we regret that ABC chose to cancel Roseanne by killing off the Roseanne Conner character,” read the statement. “That it was done through an opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show.”

The Conners
The Conners Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

The pair slammed the network for a choice it “did not have to make.”

Roseanne was the only show on television that directly addressed the deep divisions threatening the very fabric of our society,” the statement continued. “Specifically, the show promoted the message that love and respect for one another’s personhood should transcend differences in background and ideological discord. The show brought together characters of different political persuasions and ethnic backgrounds in one, unified family, a rarity in modern American entertainment. Above all else, the show celebrated a strong, matriarchal woman in a leading role, something we need more of in our country.”

Barr and Boteach stressed the importance of “forgiveness” while referencing her racist May 29 tweet, which led ABC to swiftly cancel the revival of Roseanne.

“After repeated and heartfelt apologies, the network was unwilling to look past a regrettable mistake, thereby denying the twin American values of both repentance and forgiveness,” the statement concluded. “In a hyper-partisan climate, people will sometimes make the mistake of speaking with words that do not truly reflect who they are. However, it is the power of forgiveness that defines our humanity. … The cancellation of Roseanne is an opportunity squandered due in equal parts to fear, hubris and a refusal to forgive.”

ABC picked up The Conners in June with returning cast members including John Goodman (Dan), Laurie Metcalf (Jackie), Sara Gilbert (Darlene), Lecy Goranson (Becky) and Michael Fishman (D.J.). Barr had no creative or financial involvement in the 10-episode spinoff.

“She is missed, definitely,” Goodman, 66, said on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on October 8. “After that many years, it’s like a family. … It was very weird doing the first show without her because she’s my buddy.”

The Conners airs on ABC Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.

For the latest TV news and interviews, subscribe to our new podcast “Watch With Us” below! Listen on Google Play Music

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!

Close popup

Welcome to In Motion

Bring photos to life with Us Weekly's exciting new mobile experience!

What's In Motion? Tell me more

What's In Motion?

Go back

How to Use In Motion

What's In Motion? Tell me more