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John Goodman | Roseanne Barr | Source: etonline.com | Getty Images
John Goodman | Roseanne Barr | Source: etonline.com | Getty Images

‘I Felt Bad for Her’: John Goodman Got Candid about Co-star Roseanne Barr Who Went ‘Through Hell'

Wian Prinsloo
Jul 02, 2023
07:00 A.M.
  • Roseanne Barr was a beloved comedian with her own show until she was forced to leave after a scandal.
  • After feeling alone, with her on-screen daughter turning on her, Barr had no one to turn to for help.
  • After a long silence, her co-worker John Goodman finally decided to defend her against all the hate she was receiving.
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At one point in time, Roseanne Barr was a beloved actress and almost a household name. Her sitcom, "Roseanne," played in nearly every home, and the actress was widely recognized for her role as the supportive mother to the on-screen family. Finally, the show ended, but a remake was in the works.

Although a couple of years had passed since the "Roseanne" show had ended, many fans were looking forward to the show's rebirth, hoping it would be everything it was back in the day. Everything was set to make the show a success, but one tweet that Barr made about Valerie Jarrett brought the entire project down on her head.

Laurie Metcalf, Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert and Lecy Goransonin Beverly Hills, California, 1989 | Source: Getty Images

Laurie Metcalf, Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert and Lecy Goransonin Beverly Hills, California, 1989 | Source: Getty Images

Barr's controversial tweet made fun of Jarrett, who was the senior adviser to Barack Obama while he was in office. With racist implications, Barr's tweet caught the attention of countless people, who didn't take kindly to what the post implied about Barr's personal view on politics and people of color. So many boycotted the comedian.

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Despite her apologies, ABC refused to work with her any longer, and Barr's character in "Roseanne" was killed off.

After seeing the offending tweet, even executives at ABC, the company that was responsible for the "Roseanne" show, decided that the comedian didn't fit in with their corporate identity and let her go. "Roseanne" came to a decisive end, and Barr was left with no one to turn to and with no one willing to listen to her side of the story.

Roseanne Barr on January 8, 2018 in Pasadena, California. | Source: Getty Images

Roseanne Barr on January 8, 2018 in Pasadena, California. | Source: Getty Images

After the incident, Barr took to Twitter once more to try and smooth things over. She tweeted a public apology, saying she only meant her original tweet as a joke but conceded that it was made in bad taste. She also declared that she would be leaving Twitter permanently as a way of showing that she was accounting for her actions.

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Not long after vowing to leave Twitter, however, Barr started to tweet once more. She shared messages of support she had received and also posted links to conservative websites, which left many people with a bad taste in their mouths. She later apologized for this as well, stating she had taken Ambien and her judgment had been impaired.

Despite her apologies, ABC refused to work with her any longer, and Barr's character in "Roseanne" was killed off. The show was rebranded and kept running without her, while Barr was left disgraced. Years later, she opened up about the incident, saying many of her close friends and co-workers had turned their backs on her.

Roseanne Barr and John Goodman on July 18, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Roseanne Barr and John Goodman on July 18, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

When Barr finally had the chance to speak out against what happened to her, she noted that her so-star, Sara Gilbert, who played her on-screen daughter, was one of the people who spouted the most negative comments at her. Gilbert often spoke about the comedian's scandal on her talk show, which left Barr feeling betrayed.

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John Goodman Defends Roseanne Barr

Before the controversial tweet, Barr and Gilbert had been exceptionally close. The comedian would always help her younger co-worker out with her other projects, and the two were good friends. However, upon hearing how Gilbert kept shooting Barr down for her tweet, the comedian felt "stabbed" in the back.

Goodman was glad he could speak up for his friend and do justice to the years they had spent in each other's company.

Luckily, Barr didn't lose all her friends and supporters after posting her tweet. While studio executives and fellow actors turned against her, a small crowd of loyal friends refused to turn their backs on her. Many insisted that they had known Barr for years, and the actress has never spouted racial rhetoric.

John Goodman on June 16, 2023 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. | Source: Getty Images

John Goodman on June 16, 2023 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. | Source: Getty Images

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John Goodman on "The Connors," 2020. | Source: Getty Images

John Goodman on "The Connors," 2020. | Source: Getty Images

One of these long-standing supporters turned out to be her "Roseanne" co-star, John Goodman. The actor had spent years portraying Barr's on-screen husband, and he knew the comedian well after their time spent working together. Shortly after Barr started facing backlash for her tweet, Goodman spoke up for his co-star.

When asked what he thought about Barr's tweet, Goodman commented, "I was surprised at the response. And that's probably all I should say about that … I know for a fact that she's not a racist." He continued by saying Barr was "going through hell" and admitting, "I felt bad for her."

Hearing how positive her longtime co-star was about her, Barr thanked Goodman publicly for standing up for her and not shunning her as the rest of the entertainment world did. And Goodman stuck to his guns. In an interview a few years later, the actor noted that he never regretted standing up for his co-star.

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John Goodman and Roseanne Barr on "Roseanne," 2017. | Source: Getty Images

John Goodman and Roseanne Barr on "Roseanne," 2017. | Source: Getty Images

John Goodman and Roseanne Barr on March 23, 2018 in Burbank, California. | Source: Getty Images

John Goodman and Roseanne Barr on March 23, 2018 in Burbank, California. | Source: Getty Images

Goodman sat down with Variety in 2023 and reflected on Barr's controversy. He noted that she was being attacked from all sides, and he truly felt sorry for her. The actor noted that he never felt that standing up for her was the wrong move to make, stating:

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"At the time I remember going to some kind of junket where they saw the pilot, and then the interviews, and it just turned into attack. And that made me very uncomfortable with them just attacking Roseanne."

Goodman was glad he could speak up for his friend and do justice to the years they had spent in each other's company. The two had formed a close bond after working together for such a long time, and Goodman wasn't about to turn his back on someone he loved.

John Goodman and Roseanne Barr on March 27, 2018 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

John Goodman and Roseanne Barr on March 27, 2018 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Roseanne Barr and John Goodman on "Roseanne," 2017 | Source: Getty Images

Roseanne Barr and John Goodman on "Roseanne," 2017 | Source: Getty Images

Goodman also noted how honorably Barr left the show after ABC wanted to fire her. Instead of choosing to be outraged and keeping the rights to her show, Barr allowed the production company to continue making the sitcom without her. She stated, "I agreed to the settlement in order that 200 jobs of beloved cast and crew could be saved."

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