'The Conners' Stars and Showrunner Defend Killing Off Roseanne After She Lashes Out Following Premiere
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How Hollywood Reacted to 'Roseanne' Cancellation

Barr's TV kids don't see anything wrong with how she was killed off, even if Roseanne herself does.

On Tuesday night's premiere of "The Conners," it was confirmed that Roseanne Conner overdosed on opioids, a storytelling decision the woman who played her, Roseanne Barr, was less than thrilled about.

The choice is also one that the showrunner, Bruce Helford, and stars Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman completely defend.

Immediately following the episode, Barr lashed out with a lengthy statement saying the overdose "lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show." She added that it was "a choice the network did not have to make."

Appearing on "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, Goranson and Fishman -- who play Barr's kids on the show -- were asked about her reaction.

"We really miss Roseanne and love her very much, you know and her spirit is still very much with us, so we understand that she's hurting right now and she's in pain and she's always with us," said Goranson. "Hopefully, we can see her and kind of remedy some of this at some point in time, I hope."

"The tone of the way she passed away was related to last season, and I think you listen to our producers, they really wanted to take a real crisis that's happening in our country and find a way to give voice to that," added Fishman. "I know that the reaction to that is going to be different to different people, but what we've always tried to do is tackle big topics and try to be honest about them."

Fishman added that there was definitely a "different feel" on set when they all went back to work again on "The Conners" following the cancelation of "Roseanne."

"What we really have tried to do as a group is collectively lean on each other and come together because we felt the legacy of this show deserved to be continued and there were a lot more stories to tell," he added.

Barr was fired from "Roseanne" after a racist tweet where she compared former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to "Planet of the Apes." She subsequently apologized, blamed the tweet on Ambien and explained that she thought Jarrett was white when she wrote the late-night tweet.

ABC reacted swiftly, cancelling the top-rated revival of "Roseanne" after a single season.

"There was a lot of chatter in the ether about how we should explain Roseanne's absence: Should she have a sudden heart attack, a mental breakdown or go off into the sunset on a boat with her son Jerry Garcia?" Helford explained in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter. "But back in the writers room, we firmly decided against anything cowardly or far-fetched, anything that would make the fierce matriarch of the Conners seem pathetic or debased."

"After much discussion by all parties, it was decided that we would have to make her departure clearly permanent," he continued. "But her death would have to be reverent to the woman who was so beloved by her family. And the result would have to leave no shadow over Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky, DJ and all of Lanford. It was a crucial story point so that the other characters could truly move on boldly with their lives, evolve and grow."

Helford added that he hoped her death would be "relevant and could inspire discussion" about the American working class, "whose authentic problems are often ignored by broadcast television."

"The Conners" airs Tuesdays on ABC.

Canceled! Getty Every Hollywood Star Reacting to 'Roseanne' Cancellation

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