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The Conners: Roseanne Barr Responds To Her Character's 'Grim And Morbid' End

Contains spoilers for the premiere episode of The Conners

Roseanne Barr is none too pleased with how ABC said goodbye to her Roseanne character. 

On Tuesday, October 16, the network aired the first episode of The Conners, the spin-off series that stars every member of the Roseanne revival cast except for Barr, whose racially charged tweet against former Obama White House advisor Valerie Jarrett led ABC to fire Barr and ax the sitcom. Prior to the series' debut, ABC detailed that The Conners would chronicle the Conner family – John Goodman's Dan, Laurie Metcalf's Jackie, Sara Gilbert's Darlene, Lecy Goranson's Becky, and Michael Fishman's D.J. — after a "sudden turn of events" changes their lives forever. Many assumed that this meant The Conners would kill off Barr's Roseanne Conner. And, as it happens, they were right. 

During the premiere episode, it's revealed that Roseanne died of an opioid overdose. The episode begins on the Conner family sitting around the kitchen table, with the conversation suggesting that she died of a heart attack. However, Jackie later tells Dan that the autopsy showed that Roseanne's death was due to an overdose. 

Barr took to Facebook to respond to her character's death shortly after the episode aired in the eastern U.S. 

In a joint statement, Barr and her "longtime Rabbi and friend, World Values Network Founder Rabbi Shmuley Boteach" wrote that they "regret that ABC chose to cancel Roseanne by killing off the Roseanne Conner character," and felt that the circumstances surrounding the character's death "lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show."

"This was a choice the network did not have to make. Roseanne was the only show on television that directly addressed the deep divisions threatening the very fabric of our society. Specifically, the show promoted the message that love and respect for one another's personhood should transcend differences in background and ideological discord," the statement reads in part. "The show brought together characters of different political persuasions and ethnic backgrounds in one, unified family, a rarity in modern American entertainment. Above all else, the show celebrated a strong, matriarchal woman in a leading role, something we need more of in our country."

Barr and Boteach then took a shot at ABC for being "unwilling to look past a regrettable mistake" after "repeated and heartfelt apologies." This is in direct reference to Barr's controversial post on social media, which the pair described as "the mistake of speaking with words that do not truly reflect who they are." Because the network chose to kill off the Roseanne Conner character, Barr and Boteach felt that ABC denied Barr "the twin American values of both repentance and forgiveness."

"Through humor and a universally relatable main character, the show represented a weekly teaching moment for our nation. Yet it is often following an inexcusable — but not unforgivable — mistake that we can discover the most important lesson of all: Forgiveness," continues the joint statement. "Our society needs to heal on many levels. What better way for healing than a shared moment, once a week, where we could have all enjoyed a compelling storyline featuring a witty character — a woman —who America connected with, not in spite of her flaws, but because of them. The cancellation of Roseanne is an opportunity squandered due in equal parts to fear, hubris, and a refusal to forgive."

Viewers who tuned into The Conners on Tuesday were probably pretty shocked by the reveal, but Barr actually spoiled her character's death last month. Speaking with Brandon Straka on his YouTube series Walk Away, Barr revealed, "Oh yeah, they killed her. They have her die of an opioid overdose."

Though we've seen the last of Barr as Roseanne Conner, we definitely haven't heard the last of her as, well, herself. The actress is quite outspoken on her social media accounts, particularly her Twitter page, where she posted a shorter but not much sweeter reaction to the debut episode of The Conners"I AIN'T DEAD, B****ES!!!!"