Viewers outraged as 'The Conners' kills off Roseanne Barr

Chris Edwards

The Roseanne spin-off series The Connors premiered on Tuesday (October 16) without its female lead, as the character Roseanne Connor was killed off in controversial fashion.

The new ABC comedy saw the return of all of the main characters – including John Goodman and Laurie Metcalfe – except for its star and creator, Roseanne Barr.

Roseanne was cancelled five months ago following a racist tweet posted by the actress. Barr apologised for the offensive comment and blamed her behaviour on her intake of the sleeping drug Ambien, but the sitcom was axed following the subsequent backlash on social media.

In the series opener of The Connors, it was revealed that Rosanne had died from an accidental opioid overdose.

The character had been struggling with an addiction to the drug, as she was preparing for a costly operation on her knee.

While some fans praised the show for tackling the issue of opioid abuse in the United States, many found the subject matter problematic for a family comedy series.

Barr was far from happy with the way her character had been killed off, writing in a statement: “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,” she continued. “Roseanne was the only show on television that directly addressed the deep divisions threatening the very fabric of our society.”

Barr also reacted to her character’s death on Twitter, writing: “I AIN’T DEAD, BITCHES!!!!”

Fans of Roseanne were in full support of Barr, with many claiming that the new spin-off show doesn’t work without her.

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