The Roseanne reboot might be hitting audiences in their nostalgic nerve, but one new character is sparking conversation on Twitter.
During Tuesday's first new episode, fans find out that Darlene Conner (Sara Gilbert) and her kids moved back in with Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) and Dan (John Goodman) so she can take care of her parents.
During breakfast, viewers meet Darlene's son Mark (Ames McNamara), who likes to dress in girls' clothing.
Mark greets his grandparents, who whisper to each other to ignore their grandson's clothing choices and that he's "exploring." His sister Harris, an angsty teen, tells Mark that the fact he's "always smiling" is annoying.
Later in the episode, Dan asks his grandson to hep setting the table for family dinner, but Mark protests saying his nails are still fresh.
"Did you hear that? My grandson's nails are still fresh," Dan says.
"I ike your nail polish grandpa," Mark says.
"That's drywall son."
The introduction of a "gender creative" grandchild to the Conner family gathered a loud response from Roseanne fans on Twitter, many rushing to complain to a politically-charged character to the series.
Not even 10 minutes into this and already we have to listen to her cry about liberals and her grandson's sexual orientation. It's unfortunate she felt the need to ruin this. The original series wasn't this trashy. not even Fuller House is this Trump-thumping stupid #Roseanne— Scarlette M. (@storytellrwendy) March 28, 2018
Of course there's a black and a fruit kid, and every political correct issue all thrown at you. #Roseanne— Bud Davis (@slumpbuster2001) March 28, 2018
Why does mark have on Pink leggings #Roseanne— Nicki Williams (@NickiNickiMusic) March 28, 2018
Others commended the series for bringing the subject of gender identity to network television.
OMG, they did not leave out a thing,with Jackie wearing her pussy hat, and Darleen's son going through a gender crisis, wearing pink pants. #Roseanne— The Speakers Corner (@rock_the_word) March 28, 2018
Mark is gender nonconforming. Cute. #Roseanne— Ladybuglizzie (@sagevalentine) March 28, 2018
Welcome Back!!! I forgive you for voting Trump only because you brought in a gay kid to represent and Piss off Pence 😂!❤ #Roseanne— Mark S Boone (@MarkBoone17) March 28, 2018
Worried that the real Roseanne’s transphobia is going to play out on little Mark 😩 #Roseanne— Michele (@rhda8386) March 28, 2018
Ahead of the revival, Gilbert talked to Entertainment Weekly about the decision to introduce a character like Mark to the series, clarifying that while the character enjoys dressing in girl's clothes, the character does not identify as gay or transgender.
"He's a little boy," Gilbert said. "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 revealed the choice to include the character was based on where society is today when it comes to gender identity.
"This is a show that's always been able to represent the world and talk about it without being so issue-heavy," Gilbert said. "I know kids like that and it seemed like a great character. I don't want to pigeonhole him and say just because he dresses this way that's the only thing about him. He happens to dress that way but he's an amazing, creative, brilliant kid, which you will see, and so is the kid, Ames, who plays him."
Roseanne airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC0comments