The Righteous Gemstones star, 71, opened up about the show’s swift cancelation in 2018 following Barr’s racist tweet comparing Valerie Jarrett, a Black aide to former President Barack Obama, to an ape. Speaking to Variety at the Monte Carlo Television Festival, Goodman confirmed he has no regrets about his decision to publicly declare that Barr is “not a racist.”
“No. 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,” shared Goodman, who reprised his role of family patriarch Dan in the reboot, which continued to follow the working-class Conner family. The show, which concluded its original run in 1997, proved to be successful in the ratings until Barr’s tweets hit the internet. Though the ABC series had been picked up for a second season, the fallout resulted in its cancelation.
“Yeah, I felt bad for her,” Goodman continued. “I just feel terrible about the whole thing. You know, we had a great time. And I love her. She’s just her own person.”
Goodman currently stars in ABC”s The Conners, the Roseanne spinoff which just ended its fifth season. The series, which premiered about five months after the reboot’s 2018 cancelation, does not feature Barr, whose character Roseanne has died from an opioid overdose after experiencing chronic knee pain.
Back in 2018, Goodman told the Sunday Times he “was surprised at the response” to Barr’s tweets. “And that’s probably all I should say about that … I know for a fact that she’s not a racist.” He also noted that Barr was “going through hell” as a result of her actions.
Following Barr’s tweets about Jarrett, the comedian continued to post statements on Twitter, including an apology several minutes later. She soon claimed she was on Ambien when she wrote the racist message, Yahoo Entertainment previously reported. Barr later noted that the firing forced her to quit taking the medication.
Roseanne also expressed her gratitude to Goodman for supporting her at the time.
“I thank John Goodman for speaking truth about me, despite facing certain peril from producers and network,” Barr tweeted.At 71, Goodman says he has no interest in slowing down. He got sober in 2007 and has been working diligently to maintain his health in recent years, even revealing his 200-pound weight loss at the festival. While he did consider retiring “a couple of years ago,” he found that quitting acting entirely wasn’t the right choice for him.