Former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is throwing cold water on recent Roseanne-Trump love celebrated by fans after the sitcom’s 2018 reboot.
In an essay written for the Hollywood Reporter, Abdul-Jabbar said that the show is more “subversive in its presentation of class struggles, health care, gender identity, and other issues that reflect the failures of the Trump administration.”
The idea of “Roseanne” offering a pro-Trump message derives from star Roseanne Barr’s open support for the president. The 65-year-old actress recently completed a publicity tour in which she stated her show would “articulate the feelings and frustrations of Trump loyalists,” Abdul-Jabbar notes.
“All in the Family,” whose main character was Archie Bunker, was a popular 1970s comedy that presented social commentary in a humorous way. According to Abdul-Jabbar, “Roseanne” serves a similar purpose for the Trump era, and does not definitively take a stance on political arguments.
“Unfortunately for Trump supporters,” Jabbar notes, “Roseanne is like that cinnamon roll in which some people claim to see the face of Jesus. If you’re looking for saviors in your pastry, you’ll eventually find them. If you’re looking for pro-Trump proselytizing in ‘Roseanne,’ you’ll be feasting on your own imagination.”
Abdul-Jabbar is entitled to his opinion, but it seems the sitcom queen is definitely hitting a nerve.
“Television sitcoms are entertaining, but the best ones also tell us a lot more about who we are, what we care about, and what our dreams are. “Roseanne” has a lot more to say than it first appears.”
— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) April 3, 2018
Barr tackled political correctness on episode 3 of “Roseanne” revival, which scored record-high ratings in its debut last week.
This week, Roseanne urged her daughter Darlene (who has moved back in with her) to be stricter with her own daughter instead of letting her leave her clothes all over the house and talk back to her. “She needs to respect her elders, or I’ll make sure she never becomes one,” Roseanne joked.
When Darlene replies that she should cut kids some slack, Roseanne retorted: “Kids don’t need slack, they need boundaries.”
Darlene then referenced spanking when she quipped: “Well, people parent differently than they did in your day. It turns out a lot of what you did did not work, and some of it was against the law!”
Roseanne clapped back: “Yeah, it’s against the law because your generation made everything so PC…Here’s why you can’t trust your kids: Because they’re stupid. That’s why we don’t give them cars or booze.”
Barr made headlines last week after her TV character, Roseanne Conner, revealed she was a Trump supporter. In the original sitcom (which aired from 1988 to 1997), the Conners were liberals who had voted for Democrat Bill Clinton.
Despite coming out as a Trump supporter on TV and in real life, Roseanne Barr’s revival show notched record ratings. It got a staggering 25 million viewers to become the top-rated TV show in four years.
While there have been reports that “Roseanne” won’t discuss politics or President Trump in upcoming episodes, Roseanne Conner’s dissing of PC culture this week touches on some of the topics that Trump supporters agree with.
Co-showrunner Bruce Helford downplayed Barr’s conservative-leaning politics, but told the Hollywood Reporter that her TV character’s transition from Clinton voter to Trump supporter mirrored what actually happened to a lot of Americans during the 2016 election.
“The Conners were Bill Clinton voters back in the day. Those people have very heavily shifted toward Trump. We did our due diligence on what all that would be about.
And the show, aside from the fact that Roseanne Barr and Roseanne Conner both happen to be Trump supporters, has been borne out to be pretty realistic, in terms of the demographics of that area [the Midwest].”
Barr, who was once a liberal Hillary Clinton supporter, recently revealed that she became a Trump supporter after getting disgusted with how far-left today’s radical liberals had become.
“You [liberals] all moved,” Barr told Trump hater Jimmy Kimmel. “You all went so f**ken far out! You lost everything. I mean, seriously.”
In having her TV alter ego be a Trump supporter, Barr hopes she can open a dialogue about politics that’s not so divisive and mean-spirited as it has become since President Trump took office. “I really hope it opens up civil conversation between people, instead of just mudslinging,” she said.
When asked if executives are worried that Roseanne Conner’s Trump-supporting political stances will turn off viewers, showrunner Bruce Helford said no. “If her politics bothers them, then they shouldn’t watch the show,” he said. “Nobody is making anybody watch.”