See the 'Roseanne' Revival’s Dark Gun Storyline That Was Cut

The episodes of the Roseanne revival that aired have been controversial enough, but one plot idea that did not make the cut could have been the most controversial of them all.

In a showrunners roundtable for The Hollywood Reporter, writer Whitney Cummings said one plot involved the young Mary Conner (Jayden Rey) getting a hold of a gun. When the school shooting in Parkland, Florida happened on Feb. 14, the crew and ABC decided against filming the episode.

"A big part of my involvement [on Roseanne], because it stars a character and person who voted for Trump, is that I was the progressive lib-tard in the room, and I really wanted to dig into the hypocrisies and all the hot-button issues that we're all talking about," Cummings said.

"So, [the Conners] have a gun in the house, and the story was about how they can't find it, and I really wanted the 5-year-old kid to find it," she continued. "She was gonna come out and be holding it, and it made everyone very uncomfortable, which is why I wanted to do it. I thought for a multicam, this could be incendiary and interesting and start a conversation and show the dangers inside the home of these kinds of choices."

Cummings says that everyone at the network was "pretty freaked out about it."

"And I fought really hard, and it was a hill that I died on. We didn't end up shooting that, and then Parkland happened and I was like, I …"

Before she could finish the sentence, the other participating showrunners — Dear White People's Justin Simien, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Amy Sherman-Palladino and Better Things' Pamela Adlon — suggested they should have filmed the episode even if ABC ended up cutting it.

"Or they would've done what they do, which I think is always a p– move, which is delay it," Sherman-Palladino said. "Because if you believed in it in the moment, then you believed in it. And even if it takes on a different tone. … My show came of age, for the eight episodes that I've done so far, when [the Harvey Weinstein scandal] and all that started happening and suddenly people were like, 'Oh, it takes on new relevance.' I'm like, 'Really? Because women have been gettin' a finger up their twat for years.'"

Cummings also said the writers tired to figure out if they could have Dan Conner (John Goodman) refer to undocumented workers as "illegals."

"There was all this hullabaloo on set about 'Can you say 'illegals'? That's an offensive word and we're not supposed to say that, that's not the PC term,'" Cummings explained. "But this man would not know what the right word is. So if we have him saying "undocumented workers," it just feels false and you're not telling the story."


Cummings also rejected the idea that the show is "part of the problem," noting that President Donald Trump was elected long before the Roseanne revival began. "Like, [Roseanne Barr's] Twitter feed is her Twitter feed. But everyone just needs something to blame right now," she added.

The Roseanne revival will be back for a second season in the fall on ABC.