Roseanne Barr Slams 'Unnecessary Grim and Morbid' Way 'The Conners' Killed Her Character Off

Roseanne Barr was not pleased with the way her character was killed off for the series premiere of The Conners on Tuesday.

The show began three weeks after the character Roseanne's funeral. While the Conner family was grieving the former matriarch's death, which they originally thought was caused by a heart attack, they soon discovered Roseanne actually died from an accidental opioid overdose.

Barr released a joint statement with her friend and mentor Rabbi Shmuley Boteach after the show's premiere, criticizing the series for the manner in which they portrayed her character's death. "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," the statement began.

"That [the character's death] was done through an opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show," it continued. "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 difference 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."

Roseanne Barr Reacts to Character's Death on 'The Conners'
Roseanne Barr participates in 'Is America a Forgiving Nation?,'' a Yom Kippur eve talk on forgiveness hosted by the World Values Network and the Jewish Journal at Saban Theatre on September 17, 2018, in Beverly Hills, California. Barr released a statement criticizing the way her character was killed off for "The Conners." Rachel Luna/Getty Images

Opioid use wasn't an unfamiliar topic on the show. The character Roseanne experienced her own bouts with opioid abuse after she realized she was misusing painkillers while recovering from surgery during an episode of the Roseanne revival earlier this year. In fact, some fans of the series long speculated the character would meet her fate due to her use of opioids.

Barr continued to express her disappointment in ABC's decision to ax her show, which came following a racist tweet she posted about former President Barack Obama aide Valerie Jarrett over the summer. "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," the statement read.

"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."

The statement went on to suggest the "cancellation [sic] of Roseanne is an opportunity squandered due in equal parts to fear, hubris, and a refusal to forgive."

Barr ended the letter with a final argument: "Our society needs to heel 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?"