With ‘Roseanne’ success, Roseanne Barr is back to raising eyebrows

Roseanne Barr arrives at the March premiere of the rebooted "Roseanne."
(Jordan Strauss / Invision/Associated Press)

Roseanne Barr is back on top, which means haters gonna hate and fans gonna fan — at least for the moment. Of course, renewed success hasn’t come without a bit of baggage, which has always been part of the equation for the provocative comedian.

On Wednesday, there was the call from President Trump to congratulate her on the ratings bonanza for the revival of “Roseanne,” which returned Tuesday. (Spoiler: Times critics Lorraine Ali and Robert Lloyd are fans.)

“It was pretty exciting, I’ll tell you that much,” Barr said Thursday on “Good Morning America” about the presidential call. “They said, ‘Hold, please, for the president of the United States of America,’ and [that] was about the most exciting thing ever. It was just very sweet of him to congratulate us.”


The two had a private conversation about working, TV and ratings. “He’s just happy for me,” she said, noting that the idea that people could agree to disagree and then move on in life seemed to be missing from public discourse lately.

“Anyone who watches ‘Roseanne’ should see that we know life is a struggle for most Americans & it did NOT get easier during th 20 years we were off the air! Let’s face the issues we have in common, & help our families, neighbors & leaders pull TOGETHER toward SOLUTIONS! PLEASE?” she tweeted later.

For all the time Barr spent Thursday on Twitter, her supporters matched her, answering questions she posted online: “should I go on Anderson Cooper’s show? what do you think?” and “should i go on @seanhannity?”

(The verdict? A qualified “no” on the former and a consensus “yes” to the latter.)

But there was also a post by Jewish magazine Forward, which recalled when Barr posed for a 2009 Heeb magazine cover dressed as Adolf Hitler and burning cookies. That image showed up more than once among the comments on her tweets.

Her boyfriend, Johnny Argent, jumped into the fray, tweeting, “Tasteless? So now comedians have to make sure everything they say & do is ‘in good taste?’ These are the first small steps that lead to self-righteous demagogues like Hitler taking power. U R blocked...”

Barr, naturally, retweeted that.

And then there was “Roseanne” costar Sandra Bernhard, who plays gay friend Nancy Bartlett, a character also set to return for the reboot. For her, Trump’s appeal to the white female voter remained a mystery.

“A lot of women have compromised... and not had the luxury of being able to think for themselves,” Bernhard said Wednesday on MSNBC. “When you sacrifice that in your life ... there are those little gradations into how you look at other women and the sort of feeling of inadequacy.”

Like we said, haters gonna hate. Even when they love you first.

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