Who are the Conners? ABC’s new show, “The Conners” is based on the 1990s and 2018 show “Roseanne.” “Roseanne,” the ten-season-long American comedy show starring Roseanne Barr, presents the average life of an American working class family. Roseanne Barr stole hearts of many viewers back in the late 1980s to the late 1990s, as the show had a huge impact in the television business by having a working woman, who wasn’t just there to tend for her husband, as its acting lead. People around the globe loved this abnormal and funny show. According to IMDb, Roseanne is a three time Golden Globe winner and has won 44 other prestigious awards. The sitcom was a huge show on ABC with millions of viewers enjoying 9 years of the show on air from 1988 to 1997. The last episode in 1997 shows Roseanne’s husband, Dan dying, which left the world with a tragic ending for “Roseanne.” At least, that’s what people thought…
The show had a reappearance in March of 2018, making Barr and the rest of the crew into huge TV stars once again. Husband Dan actually did not die on the show back in 1997; Roseanne was just having a dream, so the show continued exploring their lives, with the children as adults and Roseanne as an elder woman. However, in May 2018, Roseanne Barr sent out a racist tweet causing the reboot to be canceled. According to The New York Times, “ABC abruptly canceled “Roseanne” hours after Ms. Barr, the show’s star and co-creator, posted a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, an African-American woman who was a senior adviser to Barack Obama throughout his presidency and considered one of his most influential aides. Ms. Barr wrote: ‘If the muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby.’” Roseanne Barr, a supporter of President Trump, apologized later for her comment, but the show had already been canceled. According to The New York Times, “ABC’s entertainment president, Channing Dungey, said in a statement: ‘Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.’” Since ABC ended “Roseanne,” they started up “The Conners,” a spin-off of the original show that has no ties to Roseanne Barr.
Many people have different views on the Roseanne Barr tweet. Saint John’s University sophomore Angelica Cieslak thinks the infamous tweet was absolutely uncalled for. Cieslak comments, “When you are a public figure and have a platform, you don’t get to be racist and also be a star of a TV show.” Cieslak believes Barr deserved to be fired because she showed no regret for the tweet. Cieslak also states that because of this tweet, many individuals lost their jobs and she is happy ABC started a show back up again without Barr. According to Out, “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.” Many viewers agree with this sentiment. Stella McGuire explains how she believes that “Roseanne’s intentions were not meant to be harmful and might have been taken out of context.” A person who prefers to remain anonymous also believes that Roseanne didn’t wanted to cause any harm to anyone. This person commented: “The fact that [Barr] apologized and was sincere about the tweet should not have gotten her show canceled or herself fired.”
“The Conners” made its television debut on Oct. 16th, 2018. Compared to the “Roseanne” reboot in March of this year, the ratings were down. There were a reported 10.5 million viewers for “The Conners” versus 18.2 million for “Roseanne.” This staggering difference is likely due to the absence of Roseanne Barr. But, is “The Conners” really all that different without Roseanne Barr? In March, “Rosanne” tackled issues like the opioid crisis, the 2016 election and social activism. “The Conners” will be no different. In a recent episode, Darlene Conner (Sara Gilbert) and Mark Conner (Ames McNamara) tackle the issue of cultural appropriation when Mark wears a costume depicting a violent video game character and then Frida Kahlo. The Connors is tackling the same current issues as “Roseanne,” but fans are not happy with the absence of Barr. Let’s see how long “The Connors” is here to stay.