John Goodman was devastated by the cancellation of Roseanne. The Emmy-winning actor told The Times in a new interview, that he was "broken-hearted" when ABC pulled the plug on the revived show, which was a ratings hit, following series star and executive producer Roseanne Barr's racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, a former adviser to Barack Obama.
"[B]ut I thought, ‘OK, it's just show business, I'm going to let it go.' But I went through a period, about a month, where I was very depressed. 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," Goodman said.
Roseanne returned to airwaves nearly 20 years after signing off following a nine-season run. The entire original cast—Barr, Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman—all returned. ABC quickly ordered a second revival season following the sizable ratings the premiere and subsequent episodes delivered. The network touted Roseanne's success and made the show a centerpiece at its 2018 Upfront presentation. And then the tweets happened. ABC quickly canceled the show. Network president Channing Dungey called Barr's tweet, which has since been deleted, "abhorrent."
"Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show," Dungey said in a statement in May.
Barr tweeted: "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj."
Regarding ABC's response, Goodman said, "I was surprised. I'll put it this way, I was surprised at the response…And that's probably all I should say about it." After a pause, according to The Times, Goodman said, "I know, I know, for a fact that she's not a racist."
Goodman will return to work as Dan Conner in a new series, currently titled The Conners. The series will follow the family from Roseanne, just without Barr. Barr signed a deal to relinquish rights and any financial gain from the rebooted series. Goodman said he emailed Barr to thank her for agreeing to the deal, but he has not heard back from.
"I did not hear anything back, but she was going through hell at the time. And she's still going through hell," Goodman said.
What happens to Roseanne Conner? That remains to be seen. "It's an unknown. I guess he'll be mopey and sad because his wife's dead," Goodman said.
ABC has not announced plans for what happens to the character. The official description for The Conners hints at a "sudden turn of events" in the lives of Dan, Jackie, Darlene, D.J. and Becky. The season ended with Roseanne Conner preparing for knee surgery while also hiding an opioid addiction.
"We have received a tremendous amount of support from fans of our show, and it's clear that these characters not only have a place in our hearts, but in the hearts and homes of our audience," Goodman, Metcalf, Goranson, Gilbert and Fishman said in a statement when ABC announced The Conners. "We all came back last season because we wanted to tell stories about the challenges facing a working-class family today. We are so happy to have the opportunity to return with the cast and crew to continue to share those stories through love and laughter."
The Conners premieres Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 8 p.m. on ABC. Read the full interview with Goodman over at The Times now.