The reboot of “Roseanne” centers around a family united in love but divided in politics, and ahead of the season premiere, actress Roseanne Barr broke with many of her Hollywood colleagues and defended President Donald Trump.
Barr told The New York Times that the show is about “everything in our country,” including opioids, health care, and how families deal with their struggles.
“How we deal with whole new issues that we didn't even have before, like gender-fluid kids,” she added. “How working-class people — how and why they elected Trump.”
The actress pointed to working-class people being “pissed off” about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which pushed a lot of people out of their jobs, as a reason voters gravitated toward Trump.
However, the economy wasn't the only reason Barr decided to make some of the Conner family Trump supporters.
During the season premiere, her on-screen son, D.J. Conner, played by Michael Fishman, has just finished his military service while his wife is presumably still overseas.
The military aspect of a middle-class family was also a real-life scenario Barr wanted to convey through the fictional family.
“In terms of what they think, and how they feel when they are the ones who send their kids over to fight,” she told the New York Times. “We've been in wars for a long, long time, which everybody seems to forget — but working-class people don't forget it because their kids are in it.”
Barr and her on-screen husband, Dan, played by John Goodman, are Trump supporters, while her on-screen sister, Jackie, played by Laurie Metcalf, is a “nasty woman.”
From its beginning, the plot of “Roseanne” was meant to depict a real middle-class family, which is exactly why Barr said the family member's political differences were necessary.
“I just wanted to have that dialogue about families torn apart by the election and their political differences of opinion and how we handle it,” she said. “I thought that this was an important thing to say at this time.”
Barr's support for Trump doesn't end when the camera turns off, and she defended him against the interviewer's claim that his values don't align with the actress' own, specifically same-sex marriage.
Just as her same-sex kiss with Mariel Hemingway in 1994 got her heat, she explained she's experiencing similar backlash now. However, in both instances, she chose to do it because she believed it was “right” and “important.”