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Roseanne Blames Sara Gilbert for Getting Show Canceled: "She Stabbed Me in the Back"

The pair played mother and daughter on the hit sitcom for almost a decade.

In 1988, the first episode of Roseanne aired, with Roseanne Barr starring as the matriarch of the working-class Conner family. The exceedingly popular sitcom ran until 1997, and returned for a highly-anticipated reboot in 2018. But fans' hopes for another long run were dashed when the show was abruptly canceled in the wake of a racist tweet by Barr.

Barr's co-stars spoke out about the controversial comment—which was directed at former president Barack Obama and his senior advisor Valerie Jarrett—with executive producer Bruce Helford stating that he was "personally horrified and saddened." Barr's onscreen daughter, Sara Gilbert, also tweeted in the aftermath—a move that Barr now claims is what got Roseanne canceled for a second time.

Read on to find out why Barr says Gilbert "stabbed her in the back."

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Barr believes Gilbert is responsible for the show's cancellation.


During a recent interview with Megyn Kelly on The Megyn Kelly Show, Barr wasn't shy when speaking about Gilbert. While discussing the show's cancellation, Barr said that amid the drama, Gilbert "repeatedly twisted [the knife]." She believes a specific tweet from Gilbert effectively "canceled the show."

The May 29, 2018 tweet from Gilbert reads, "Roseanne's recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least."

Barr recalled to Kelly that she was "just floored" when she saw the tweet, adding that Gilbert—who was an executive producer for the reboot—had "begged" her to return, and promised she would "have her back" in the revival.

Best Life reached out to representatives for Gilbert, and will update the story with their response.

Barr said she confronted Gilbert in the past.

sara gilbert
DFree / Shutterstock

Barr alleged that Gilbert turned on her and continued to discuss the situation publicly on The Talk.

"It wasn't enough that she stabbed me in the back, and did what she did to me there, but then she would go on her talk show every day and talk about how shocked she was at my racism on top of it," Barr said. "It was every day."

However, Barr said that she did get the chance to confront her onscreen daughter.

"I called her up and I said, 'You better shut your blanking mouth about me. I'm telling you, you better shut your … mouth,'" Barr shared. "And then she did, but, you know, my voice can be very scary."

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The Roseanne character was killed off in a spinoff.

sara gilbert on the connors

After Roseanne was canceled, the character of Roseanne was killed off offscreen in the spinoff The Conners, which just concluded its fifth season. According to Barr, she believes the move carried a more sinister message.

"They just tried to kill me, and I felt like they killed my character and my character," Barr told Kelly. "I thought they were sending a message over the airwaves because they knew I had mental health issues. I thought they wanted me to kill myself, and all my friends did, too. They said they're trying to push you to suicide."

Barr also said that she was not permitted to go onto any of the shows to apologize "for offending people," and that her tweet was intended as a "political tweet, not a racial tweet."

Barr claimed that Werner wanted her fired years ago.

roseanne barr on the red carpet
Ga Fullner / Shutterstock

Barr also said that Gilbert ended up "owning my work and [executive producer] Tom Werner becomes her partner in owning my work." According to the writer and actor, this isn't the first time she's had a run-in with Werner.

"Tom Werner tried to fire me the second week or the third week of the original show," she said, explaining that it was due to her looking for a "created by" credit.

"At that time, they went to John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf and asked them if they would do the show without me, and they said no," Barr recalled. "So, they didn't dare fire me then, but they would've, had they done what they did the second time around—I wouldn't have ever had a show."

Barr also said that Metcalf, who played Barr's sister Jackie Harris on Roseanne, is someone she doesn't keep in touch with post-controversy, noting that they have "no relationship."

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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