‘The Conners’ Premiered Last Night—And The Way Roseanne Was Killed Off Was Shady AF 😮

*Warning: Spoilers for The Conners below*

The Conners premiered on ABC this past Tuesday, October 16, and they wasted no time in answering lingering questions about the fate of its former titular character, Roseanne. Roseanne Barr was fired from her own show after its first season for tweeting racist comments about former Obama staffer Valerie Jarrett, but the program’s success and popularity motivated ABC to make the nearly unprecedented move of continuing the narrative without its former protagonist. 

There was a lot of excitement to see what Roseanne without Roseanne would be like.

The Conners wasted no time addressing what had happened to their matriarch.

The premiere revealed that in between seasons, Roseanne had died of an opioid overdose. During the last season, Roseanne struggled with an addiction to opioids following a knee surgery.

Many fans thought the show handled Roseanne’s passage in a very touching way.

Others thought the show went well, but missed Roseanne’s presence nonetheless.

On the other side of things, Roseanne popped off on Twitter with a bit of shade!

Some online thought that the cause of Roseanne’s death (opioid overdose) may have been a jab at Barr’s claim that she had sent her racist tweets under the influence of Ambien. 

It seems unlikely that the show’s writers were going after Roseanne, especially considering her character’s history with opioids on the show. What’s more, many cast members have gone so far as to say they still feel her presence on the set, indicating they bear her little ill-will. That didn’t stop fans from speculating, however:

Roseanne was known for tackling hard topical issues, and The Conners may well continue that legacy.

Regardless, fans were glad to see an important cultural touchstone demonstrate it could continue and even thrive without folding to an individual’s racism… even when that individual was previously considered integral to the production.

H/T – Huffpost, BBC