In her first press conference for the Roseanne reboot, Roseanne Barr opened up about why her character, Roseanne Conner, is a Donald Trump supporter.
“I’ve always tried to have [the show] be a true reflection of the society we live in. Half the people voted for Trump and half didn’t. It’s just realistic,” Barr told reporters at ABC’s Television Critics Association press tour panel in Pasadena, California. “I’ve always attempted to portray a realistic portrait of the American working-class people and, in fact, it was working-class people who elected Trump, so I felt that was very real and something that needed to be discussed,” she continued, “especially about polarization within the family and people actually hating other people for the way they voted, which I feel is not American.”
Sara Gilbert, who plays Roseanne’s daughter Darlene, and is also an executive producer on the reboot, added that it was important to show a family that could disagree politically and still continue speaking to each other. “It was a great opportunity to have a family divided by politics but still full of a lot of love,” Gilbert said. “The working class has been underrepresented in politics and on television, and this just felt like a wonderful time and opportunity to give a voice to some people in this country.”
When pushed about why Barr — or her character — would not see Trump’s xenophobia as a disqualifier for the presidency, Barr responded that she’s not a Trump apologist: “He says a lot of crazy shit. There are a lot of things that he’s said and done that I don’t agree with. There’s probably a lot of things Hillary Clinton has done and said that you don’t agree with.”
“Nobody is brainwashed into agreeing with 100 percent of what anybody said,” she continued. “One bright thing I read today is this is the lowest black unemployment for many, many years, so I think that’s great. I do support jobs for people. I think that’s a great way to fight racism is that everybody has a job.”
When asked about her thoughts on Oprah Winfrey running for president in 2020, or even Susan Sarandon, Barr said she loves Winfrey, but thinks she, herself, would be a better choice for the Oval Office. “I do love Oprah, like everybody else. But I think it was time for us a country to shake things up and try something different,” she said. “I think I would be a better president than Oprah and Susan Sarandon, possibly even President Trump.”
While Barr has been outspoken about her support for the president on social media, don’t expect more Twitter outbursts from the comedian in the near future. “I’m not on Twitter anymore. My children took my Twitter password away from me, which is disturbing because there’s so much going on this week,” Barr said. “I did not want it to overshadow the show, so I’m taking a little break.”