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Darlene's Job Problems In The Conners Season 5, Episode 7 Echo Real-Life Plastic Pollution Issues

The following article contains spoilers for "The Conners" Season 5 Episode 7 — "Take This Job and Shove It Twice."

Much like its predecessor "Roseanne," "The Conners" does a good job of covering topical issues and doing it with all speed and accuracy. From school shootings to little libraries to surrogate parenthood to immigration rights, the show hasn't been afraid of talking about what's really on America's minds.

In this week's episode, Darlene Conner (Sara Gilbert) gets some seemingly good news on the job — she's been promoted to head of public relations at Wellman Plastics. She quickly learns that not only is the company in the middle of a crisis related to its plastic products contaminating Lanford's groundwater, but she's also responsible for lying on the company's behalf without having any direction on the topic. Darlene soon finds herself in a moral quandary; should she continue to spew forth the company's lies and insist Wellman has nothing to do with the town's problems? Or should she be true to her naturally rebellious self? Here's how Darlene's storyline mirrors some problems big companies have gotten into over the past few decades when the citizens living near their plants accuse them of pollution.

Some major companies have dealt with accusations regarding their plastic usage in real life

Wellman's deeds on "The Conners" are reflective of the accusations leveled by other towns against large corporations regarding the safety of their groundwater. In November of 2021, The Water Replenishment District of Southern California sued 3M, accusing them of contaminating the groundwater in a number of California towns with "forever chemicals" that may cause cancer, according to Reuters.

A federal lawsuit filed by a number of families in Springfield, Missouri, also in that same month, accused aerospace company Northrop Grumman of contaminating their groundwater with trichloroethylene and for failing to notify them for over a decade, according to The Missouri Independent. That's just two of a number of cities and townships that have accused large companies of polluting the environment.

On "The Conners," Darlene's answer to her dilemma is slightly easier. She quits Wellman instead of continuing to lie for them, leaving her jobless. That won't get the plastic out of the town's groundwater, but it will definitely propel the show's future storylines.