Roseanne Barr on Her ‘Conners’ Character Fate: ‘I Ain’t Dead, Bitches!’

Actress also decries lack of forgiveness by ABC for “an inexcusable – but not unforgivable – mistake” in lengthy statement

Last Updated: October 16, 2018 @ 7:33 PM

Roseanne Barr took to Twitter to react to the premiere of ABC’s “The Conners” on Tuesday night.

The actress, who was fired from what was the network’s “Roseanne” revival after an offensive tweet, seemed to object to the way her character was killed off the show.

“I AIN’T DEAD, BITCHES!!!!” she tweeted, about an hour after the episode ended.

An hour after that, Barr released a lengthier statement in coordination with World Values Network Founder Rabbi Shmuley Boteach that praised her former co-stars but blasted ABC for refusing to forgive her for “an inexcusable – but not unforgivable – mistake.”

“While we wish the very best for the cast and production crew of The Conners, all of whom are deeply dedicated to their craft and were Roseanne’s cherished colleagues, we regret that ABC chose to cancel Roseanne by killing off the Roseanne Conner character. That it was done through an opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show.”

“This was a choice the network did not have to make. Roseanne was the only show on television that directly addressed the deep divisions threatening the very fabric of our society. Specifically, the show promoted the message that love and respect for one another’s personhood should transcend differences in background and ideological discord. The show brought together characters of different political persuasions and ethnic backgrounds in one, unified family, a rarity in modern American entertainment. Above all else, the show celebrated a strong, matriarchal woman in a leading role, something we need more of in our country.”

“Through humor and a universally relatable main character, the show represented a weekly teaching moment for our nation. Yet it is often following an inexcusable – but not unforgivable – mistake that we can discover the most important lesson of all: Forgiveness. After repeated and heartfelt apologies, the network was unwilling to look past a regrettable mistake, thereby denying the twin American values of both repentance and forgiveness. In a hyper-partisan climate, people will sometimes make the mistake of speaking with words that do not truly reflect who they are. However, it is the power of forgiveness that defines our humanity.”

“Our society needs to heal on many levels. What better way for healing than a shared moment, once a week, where we could have all enjoyed a compelling storyline featuring a witty character – a woman – who America connected with, not in spite of her flaws, but because of them. The cancellation of Roseanne is an opportunity squandered due in equal parts to fear, hubris, and a refusal to forgive.”

Tuesday’s premiere of “The Conners,” titled “Keep on Truckin,'” revealed that Barr’s character had died due to an opioid overdose following surgery on her knee. The episode sees the family grappling with the loss of their matriarch and coming to terms with the cause of her death.

ABC cut ties with Barr entirely back in May after a tweet comparing a former Obama aide to “Planet of the Apes,” which Barr has repeatedly insisted was not racially motivated. However, the network chose to move forward with a spin-off of “Roseanne” without her involvement.

In interviews since her axing, Barr has described the network’s move to kill her character off the show as an “insult” to her and the show’s fans.

Barr also said in an episode of “VICE News Tonight” which aired the same day of “The Conners” premiere that she’s been struggling with mental health issues and taken up smoking since she was fired.

“”I’ve got a lot of time for real life, real-life stuff,” she said. “Like, just going for a walk with my mom and having an ice cream cone. Stuff like that. Waiting in lines, I’ve really been sleeping a lot, like, probably 17 hours a day.”