A new interview with John Goodman made the rounds on mainstream media Monday, as he revealed that Roseanne Barr’s character would likely be killed off in a spinoff of the classic series “Roseanne” coming to ABC in the fall.
What many media outlets did not report, however, was Goodman’s insistence in that same interview that Barr is not a racist, despite some offensive tweets that got her fired from the show earlier this year.
In an interview with The Sunday Times of London, Goodman insisted the impression given in the off-color tweets does not reflect the person he knows. “I know, I know, for a fact that she’s not a racist,” he said.
Barr was fired earlier this year after she tweeted that former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett looked like if the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes had a baby. She later insisted that she did not know that Jarrett was black, but rather Middle Eastern. Goodman said the tweet left him “brokenhearted.”
Regardless, ABC took swift action, firing her and cancelling the popular revival of her show, which Goodman was starring in.
Goodman also revealed that he and Roseanne aren’t close personal friends, something Roseanne herself has said was the case with most of her cast members. Goodman, however, is the only cast member to speak out in Barr’s defense, something the actress is upset about.
Late Monday, Barr expressed gratitude via Twitter. “I thank John Goodman for speaking truth about me, despite facing certain peril from producers and network,” she tweeted.
I thank John Goodman for speaking truth about me, despite facing certain peril from producers and network.
— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) August 28, 2018
Roseanne had previously indicated that the tweet was borne out of her struggles with mental health and an inability to adjust to medication. In the weeks that followed her firing, Barr made several videos in which she appeared to be unhinged. She says she is now doing better, thanks to the help of new doctors.
got new Dr.’s and am doing better now. Thanks everyone! pic.twitter.com/XT57DBrzBs
— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) August 26, 2018
Goodman said the show’s cancellation left him depressed for a time. “I’m a depressive anyway, so any excuse that I can get to lower myself, I will. But that had a great deal to do with it, more than I wanted to admit.”
In the new “Roseanne” spinoff coming this fall, Goodman hinted that Barr’s character would be killed off, as he might be playing a “mopey” widower. Barr gave up her rights to any spinoff, which made the show possible. She said she did so as a gesture to the cast and crew who lost their jobs over the cancellation.
He also said he has not spoken to Barr since her firing. He said he sent an email to her but never heard back, saying he understood her lack of a response. “She was going through hell at the time,” he said. “And she’s still going through hell.”
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