Have you ever seen someone be apologetic but also just so full of rage that other people won’t give them the forgiveness they’re completely certain they deserve? Well, here we go. Tonight The Conners, the show that was salvaged from the wreckage of Roseanne, premiered on ABC. The premiere episode dealt with the lack of Roseanne Barr in a way the former star herself already spoiled awhile back, and Barr reacted to the show’s debut in her typically measured, fair, and rational way, by calling us all bitches.
Now, before you get to thinking that Barr is anything but gracious and apologetic, she and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach then released a statement about an hour later that reiterated Barr’s displeasure with the network’s decision to fire her. It alludes to her “inexcusable — but not unforgivable — mistake” that could help us all learn to just forgive and forget and, I guess, bring Roseanne back to the show by pretending her death was all a dream or something completely insane like that. Read the full statement below:
“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.”