“I just can’t bear it, so I don’t,” Barr, 70, told The Los Angeles Times in an interview published on Thursday, February 9. “When they killed my character off, that was a message to me, knowing that I’m mentally ill or have mental health issues, that they did want me to commit suicide.”
She continued: “They killed my character … And all of that was to say thank you for bringing 28 million viewers, which they never had before and will never see again. Because they can kiss my a—.”
Barr — who starred as the titular character on Roseanne, which aired between 1988 and 1997 — revived the popular sitcom in 2018, reuniting with her former costars including John Goodman and Sara Gilbert. Roseanne was canceled that May after Barr’s allegedly racist Twitter remark received widespread backlash. The Utah native, who deleted her initial comment, has since apologized for making a “bad joke” about White House aide Valerie Jarrett’s appearance and politics.
One month later, ABC announced that the reboot would continue — under a new name — without Barr. The Conners, which premiered that October, returned with the Conner family mourning the death of matriarch Roseanne after a fatal overdose.
“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’s character,” Barr and her rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, told Us Weekly in a statement after the premiere. “That it was done through an opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show.”
The Conners, which has since aired five seasons on ABC, has continued to show how the brood has moved on following the surprising TV death.
“I was really excited, and I did not know what to expect in the sense of everyone coming back together,” Emma Kenney, who plays Darlene’s daughter, exclusively gushed to Us of returning to The Conners post-cancellation. “I’m really grateful that it came together the way it did, and I’m really excited for the stories that we’re telling this season. … It was a happy moment seeing everyone again, and I’m really happy that we’re all back together, and I know everyone has each other’s backs.”
She added at the time: “Everyone is very professional. Everyone is very kind, and it’s just a very good group of people working together. We all have very similar kind of motives and agendas. And, we know the stories that we want to tell this season, and this is the same family – the Conner family – and I’m really looking forward to telling more of their stories and their lives.”
Barr, for her part, has moved on from Roseanne and The Conners — but doesn’t regret her previous involvement.
“It had been very gratifying. I had always wanted a 10th season of the show to tie up everything, to tell the full story of this family as I wanted to tell it,” the She-Devil actress told the Los Angeles Times. “I came back after 20 years and was No. 1 again. That’s unprecedented. So I started thinking about all the positives of it, my work and the contribution I made to pop culture and television, its portrayal of a woman and her working-class family. They can’t take that away from me. They’ll probably try.”
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.
Sign up for Us Weekly’s free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more!
If you or anyone you know is facing substance abuse issues, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for free and confidential information 24/7.