Roseanne scored mega ratings when it returned this week for its 10th season, after just over 20 years off the air, but not everyone was here for it.
Though plenty of fans were excited to have the beloved sitcom return, quite a few celebs have taken to Twitter in the days following the premiere, frustrated over Roseanne Barr’s support of President Donald Trump in real life and of her character, Roseanne Conner, on the show.
Chrissy Teigen, who’s always been quite vocal on the social media site, spoke up in frustration on Thursday, taking a screenshot of an old tweet of Barr’s that said “NAZI SALUTE,” which she captioned, “Argh. Hit show on ABC. we have reached peak normalization.”
The pregnant model did concede to loving the show when it was first on in the late ’80s and early ’90s, which is the reaction many fans, both famous and not, have had to the ABC sitcom’s politically-driven premiere (in addition to ignoring the last two seasons). “I loved that damn show. Before the lottery win and heart attack, of course,” Teigen wrote.
Emmy Rossum had much more to say, sharing three tweets in frustration on Thursday, but also one in support of her Shameless co-star, Emma Kenney, who plays Darlene Conner’s daughter, Harris, on the new iteration of Roseanne.
“Some reviews I’ve been reading that Rosanne is attempting to bridge the gap in this country thru comedy are interesting… but I’m sorry, anyone who voted for A WALL is not trying to BRIDGE anything,” Rossum tweeted. “. @potus called ROSANNE to congratulate her on her ratings. This reinforces that he truly only cares about “ratings” and popularity and what‘s on TV. What is it all coming to? Roseanne on Jimmy Kimmel about Trump: ‘let’s try to think positive’. Well, actions speak louder. The Wall. The transgender military ban. The normalization of lying. The demonizing of the press. The rise in hate crimes. The POSITIVE is the MIDTERM ELECTIONS.”
“That being said, I love my girl @EmmaRoseKenney ,” the 31-year-old actress concluded.
Rossum was referring to Barr’s statements to Good Morning America on Thursday morning, when the 65-year-old comic called in to the morning show and told George Stephanopoulos that Trump had reached out to congratulate her on the premiere. Roseanne’s return brought in 18.2 million viewers according to the first set of numbers, but Barr revealed on Twitter that after DVR counts, the numbers were up to 23 million.
“It was pretty exciting, I’ll tell you that much. They said, ‘Hold please for the President of the United States of America,’ and that was about the most exciting thing ever. It was just very, very sweet of him to congratulate us,” she recalled.
“We talked about a lot of things,” she added. “He’s just happy for me. I’ve known him for many years and he’s done a lot of nice things for me over the years, and so it was just a friendly conversation about working and television and ratings.”
Barr also acknowledged that her show had become a point of contention on social media. “We always like to be current and talk about the things that are happening in our country — we always have on our show. So we want to do it more.”
“The idea that people can agree to disagree is kind of missing from everything,” she added of the current slate of programming on television. “But I think that conflict resolution and agreeing to disagree are important things that I like to feature and talk about. I haven’t seen much of that anywhere, but that’s what we need to do as a country: figure out what we don’t like, talk to each other and discuss how we’re going to get it changed or get it fixed.”
Though the comedienne is thrilled about the reaction and ratings, Teigen and Rossum are far from the only ones who are having trouble separating Barr from her TV character. Many other celebs and frustrated fans voiced their concerns on Twitter, especially after a photoshoot of Barr posing in Nazi attire from a Heeb photoshoot in 2009 resurfaced and has been widely re-circulated since Tuesday night’s Roseanne premiere.
The Roseanne cast and crew have said that they knew there would be issues with fans being able to separate the actors from their roles, namely when it came to Barr. Whitney Cummings, an executive producer and co-showrunner on Roseanne, directly addressed the controversy with ET on the red carpet at the show’s premiere last week.
“Right now, we live in the age of Twitter and YouTube, and we know everything about everybody. I think it’s really important, and us as writers, we really wanted to delineate the difference between Roseanne Barr and Roseanne Conner. And there is a difference,” she explained. “It’s just really making sure that what Roseanne Conner believes might be a little different than what Roseanne Barr believes, so we really want to make sure we got that, because we don’t shy away from project diversity in either of those realms, obviously.”
“But we really wanted to stay authentic to where the Conners would actually be, not where we wanted them to be or where we thought might be funny for them to be, but given the economic circumstances of this family, the way things are in this country and the way things have gone — the city they live in is now primarily Mexican — and just sort of really reflecting on what our country actually looks like now, 20 years later.”
Barr and her on-screen husband, John Goodman, had similar sentiments about the return.
“[We’re] just going to show a realistic depiction of this family and, you know, they have so much in common with other American families,” Barr told ET. “Everybody’s mad at everybody, so we’ll find a way through and hopefully other people will too.”
Goodman, 65, echoed Barr’s sentiments, explaining that “because things that affect families in middle America, they’re going to affect us and we want to be, not demonstrating, but just showing how it affects a family who is living paycheck to paycheck, how they handle these things, and how much they have to forget just to get through the day,” adding that “you can’t” shy away from big topics.
Not everyone has had an ill reaction to Roseanne, however. While many people are focusing on Barr’s support of Trump, others are looking at its content as a sitcom.
“Been a longtime fan of @RoseanneOnABC. Best family sitcom of all time. I watched it religiously while working the counter at Quick Stop – even Season 9,” Kevin Smith tweeted on Wednesday. “Delighted to see they haven’t missed a step! Love the show so far! Sarah Gilbert’s 3rd Act scene in Ep 1 is Emmy-worthy work!”
Sarah Silverman also said she loved the return on Twitter, saying “That familiar feeling of the old but w comedy & content so totally of this moment like the angst w/in close families over politics.”
Kumail Nanjiani replied to her tweet in disagreement, namely over Barr herself, and the two went back and forth for a bit on the topic, with Billy Eichner also eventually chiming in. “Sarah, you know I love you & respect you. I believe who can bring themselves to watch what art is a subjective thing,” Nanjiani wrote. “I can’t bring myself to watch a person who mocks teens whose friends were murdered, who traffics in conspiracy theories that damage our world & reality.”
“I know that’s not her character on the show. But I can’t watch her playing any character,” he continued. “She says David Hogg did the Nazi salute. That’s not political disagreement. It’s wrong. So, I understand your point, but don’t judge ppl for not being able to bring themselves to watch her.”