In an interview with the Sunday Times, John Goodman confirms that Roseanne Barr’s Roseanne character will be killed off to make room for the Barr-less spinoff, The Conners. Describing his character on the show, which was hastily conceived by ABC after Barr’s racist tweets caused the smash-hit Roseanne revival’s abrupt cancellation, Goodman says, “I guess he’ll be mopey and sad because his wife’s dead.”
Goodman says in the interview that he was “surprised” by the reaction to Barr’s tweet, which compared black former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to a character from The Planet of the Apes, and says of Barr, “I know, I know, for a fact that she’s not a racist.” But while he describes he and Barr making each other roar with laughter during his original audition for the show, when the interviewer asks if they became “good friends” over the years, Goodman pauses and responds, “We were work friends.”
Goodman, who calls himself “rather a big fan of labor unions,” says he empathizes with the woes of the working-class viewers Roseanne connected with, but says of the current political situation that Americans have become “distracted by race and immigration instead of standing up for themselves,” and that Donald Trump is “in it for himself.” He says he has not heard from Barr since Roseanne’s cancellation, although he sent her an email thanking her for relinquishing her rights to the characters, which allowed The Conners to proceed without Barr benefiting financially from it.
The Conners is scheduled to premiere on ABC on Oct. 16.