In a belligerent and profanity-strewn missive in New York Magazine this week, Roseanne Arnold Barr revealed the worst secrets of her decades-old, eponymously-named and terrifically unfunny television sitcom. In the crude rant, Ms. Barr makes the claim that, despite her tremendous success and millions upon millions of dollars, she is the victim of discrimination in Hollywood. She also states, without a shred of evidence, that sexism still reigns in the media airwaves.
The Roseanne show ran for nine years on ABC. During that time Ms. Barr was given an enormous soapbox from which to preach her most radical, socialist worldviews. She embraced a pro-labor, pro-homosexual, anti-corporate agenda unflinchingly each week. For many viewers, it was a shocking sight to witness. The series stood out for its filthy-looking set and its raunchy subject matter. It debased our humble citizens by depicting them as slothful and unintelligent. Sadly, with syndication this message was distributed throughout the world, encouraging our worst enemies to view us a dimwitted, lazy people. It is not hard to connect the dots from this show to the plotters in Afghanistan who schemed to take advantage of this supposed American weakness. Most media experts and traditional families breathed a sigh of relief when this floundering mess was finally cancelled from the primetime airwaves.
Yet now Roseanne is back, making outrageous and possibly libelous statements that she is simply a victim of her peers in the liberal elite. The target of her worst epistles is series creator and writer Matt Williams. Williams left the show after one year due to political conflicts with the radical actress. Fortunately, he was then free to create one of television’s most wholesome and delightful programs, Home Improvement. This frightening editorial in New York Magazine’s is recklessly accompanied by a vampiric set of photos taken by celebrity paparazzo Robert Maxwell that do nothing to subtract from the disturbing effect of this Roseanne trainwreck.
When one reflects back on the sitcom, it is Ms. Barr’s nauseating voice that most often comes to mind. She was abrasive and nasal. She smacked her body around the set without caring who was in her way. The show veered into such stream of consciousness randomness that it was not hard to imagine that Roseanne simply made up her lines as she went along, leaving her suffering co-stars little time to make sense of her ramblings. Viewers openly worried after DJ, the youngest child growing up in this dysfunctional and grimy home. John Goodman, who played Roseanne’s husband, was often sidelined in the humor despite the actor’s superior comedic ability. (One wonders if the show might have been more successful if it was called, “Dan.”) Included in this notorious cast were lascivious Lecy Goranson and hipster Sara Gilbert, two young women who would go on to continue a Roseanne-inspired attack on American values with a cacophony of TV shows, films and theatrical productions after the series ended.
One can only hope that this bitter tirade finally puts an end to the mythical status that Roseanne Barr has enjoyed. Penned from the confines of her luxurious 50-acre Hawaiian estate, she comes across as a petty materialist (obsessing over wardrobe choices and restaurant reservations) who needs to retire from public view. Of today’s television, Ms. Barr states, “all over the tube, you will find enterprising, overmedicated, painted-up, capitalist whores claiming to be housewives.” Yet this is precisely the type of positive role models a struggling America needs right now. Television has evolved a great deal since Roseanne and for that we are better off. Her dangerous, socialist agenda is about as dated as the Soviet Union.