The cast and writers of Roseanne assure its viewers that there will be no political inferences in the reboot of the 1980s sitcom. Instead, the show will focus on several issues.
When ABC announced a reboot of the popular family comedy, the expectation was that it would be another political commentary. However, the stars of the series themselves confirmed that Roseanne will not have political leanings, although the show is anchored in the titular character's decision to vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
"People think this show is more political than it is. It's more about how a family deals with a disagreement like that," Sara Gilbert, executive producer and one of the stars of the series, told The Hollywood Reporter.
The only political reference in the Roseanne reboot will probably be in the pilot, where the cast and writers agreed to put a Hilary Clinton jab. The politicians are not mentioned by name. Instead, they are referred to as "him" for current U.S. President Trump and "pantsuit" for Clinton.
"I thought everybody was pretty liberal, so I was keepin' an eye on it, making sure that it was evenhanded. But the day we went to shoot [the pilot], I got with the writers, and I'm like, 'You guys have to have a Hillary slam.'' Cause they were all Trump slams," Roseanne Barr, who plays the titular character, revealed.
Show writer Bruce Helford gave the former First Lady the moniker pantsuit, which Barr considered as a "great Hillary slam." As to why the pilot has to have this particular political disagreement, the comedian said it was needed to represent the country and show how divided its people are.
The Roseanne reboot will also tackle other issues including health care, gender, the opioid crisis, and illegal immigration.
"We wanted to make sure that all sides were represented in the show, which seems to be taboo today. We did an episode about a Muslim neighbor. I can tell you that the hair of the standards and practices people went on end," co-showrunner Helford said, adding that the more tension there is, the funnier the show gets.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is also one of the sensitive topics the revival wants to address. Co-showrunner Whitney Cummings hopes that men use Dan Conner (John Goodman) as an example of what it means to be a real man.
"When we talk about Hollywood now, where every day you hear the scandal about this guy or that guy, I think this show could be healing. I think Dan Conner shows that you can be masculine without harassing women or cheating on your wife," Cummings said.
The Roseanne reboot airs March 27 at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.