Roseanne Barr Faces Fierce Backlash Over 'Unrealistic' Gender Fluid Character Storyline

Roseanne premiered new episodes two days ago and fans are still flooding social media with opposing opinions on the star's political views.

The biggest debate appears to be over the sitcom's decision to portray Roseanne Conner (Barr) and her husband Dan (John Goodman) as Trump supporters, while also showing them as supportive figures in their young, gender non-conforming grandson's life.

During the first two episodes of the series, Roseanne and Dan slowly come to terms with the fact Mark (Ames McNamara) enjoys dressing in girls' clothing, but still identifies as a boy, which leads to Roseanne making a speech in front of Mark's class, standing up for her grandson to ensure he doesn't get bullied at his new school.

The storyline angered some social media users who saw it as a hypocritical and unrealistic depiction of Trump supporters.

Ira Madison wrote in a lengthy twitter thread about his issues with the story.

"Ah, a Trump supporter who has the compassion to protect their gender fluid grandson at school but also doesn't care about Trump's LGBTW rhetoric is a sh—y person and also a fantasy," Madison wrote in one of the tweets.

Another user spoke out about the storyline on Twitter, writing, "Tackling the gender non-conforming dress of Roseanne's grandson was classic [Roseanne], but I wish they'd confronted the fact that her Trump/Pence vote is a giant step toward making the world worse for him."

However, there were people who believed the way the characters were portrayed reflects their real lives.

"On Roseanne protecting the gender fluid grandson vs. supporting Trump despite the administration's anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. This is actually something many of us who are queer from conservative families experience. I call it the 'But You're Special' syndrome,'" gay actor Emerson Collins tweeted.

"Our families grow to accept our queerness or identity because they love us and we're 'special' to them. They don't say it, but it's there that they mean 'you're not like those other queers," he continued. "We're the exception to them. It's a compromise that involves mental gymnastic on their part to accept us without accepting or pushing for equality for the broader queer community."

He then added: "They want us to be happy but don't support marriage equality. They'll defend our identity because the family instinct is strong, but give in to fearmongering about trans people in bathrooms."

Ahead of the premiere, series star and executive producer Sara Gilbert commented on Mark's character, clarifying the character is neither gay or transgender as many social media users thought on premiere night.

"He's not a transgender character. He's a little boy," she told Entertainment Weekly.

"He's based on a few kids in my life that are boys who dress in more traditionally feminine clothing. He's too young to be gay and he doesn't identify as transgender, but he just likes wearing that kind of clothing and that's where he is at this point in his life," Gilbert said.


Roseanne airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.