Fans of the original Roseanne might get confused by Dan Conner's resurrection, but the Conner family's politics might be the real kicker when the reboot premieres in March.
As revealed by reboot star Roseanne Barr at a Television Critics Association event Monday, both Roseanne and Dan voted for President Donald Trump which, Vanity Fair writes, does not match the main character's ideologies from the original series.
“I’ve always attempted to portray a realistic portrait of the American people and working-class people,” Barr said Monday at the panel. “And in fact, it was working-class people who elected Trump, so I felt that yeah, that was very real, and something that needed to be discussed and especially about polarization in the family, and people actually hating other people for the way they voted, which I feel is not American.”
According to Vanity Fair, the original series dove into class and and gender inequality issues more than race. But citing the season 7 episode "White Men Can't Kiss" as an example, the show established that Roseanne (the character) was "both against racism and willing to examine her own behavior."
So, when a journalist asked why that character would turn around and vote for someone whose platform is demonstrably racist? Barr said, “Well, that’s your opinion.”
These and other moments in the original series make it hard to believe that Roseanne would have voted for Trump, even if she is part of the working class.
Showrunner Bruce Helford, however, said the decision for the family to be politically divided in the reboot was meant to bring the issue to the forefront.
"What we wanted to do was find a way for this family, which represents a cross-section of values and beliefs, and get a debate going in an honest and real way — whether that’s pro- or anti-Trump or Jill Stein, it was really about getting dialogue going in an honest way,” Helford said.
“There’s no show that’s dealing in the same way with these kinds of issues. We have a beloved place in the hearts of American viewers, and wanted to do something that would heal things and put all the cards on the table.”
Vanity Fair writes that if Roseanne handles the political divide issue right, it could have an impact that no other post-Trump TV show has had.
“This is a time when our country is divided. We talk about [politics] in the context of a family. People feel like they can’t disagree and still love and talk to each other. It’s a great opportunity to have a family divided by politics but is still filled with love. What a great thing to bring into this country right now," said Sara Gilbert, who portrays Darlene and is an exec producer on the series.