The reboot of the more than 20-year-old sitcom “Roseanne” is trying to normalize the ideals of President Donald Trump’s supporters, but the behavior of many Trump supporters is un-American.
“Roseanne” is a show detailing the life of a white, blue-collar family that is usually trying to make ends meet. Roseanne Barr, a fan of Trump, who continues to promote QAnon, a pro-Trump conspiracy theory, is also portraying her character “Roseanne Conner” as a supporter.
To reflect reality, Barr must include in her program the racist, xenophobic and homophobic actions of many of his supporters. The actions were fueled during Trump’s run for the presidency and his current policies are fanning the flames. Barr also has to discuss the rhetoric of their leader.
More than 20 years ago when “Roseanne” was first on the air, there wasn’t robust social media, and the president of the United States didn’t use Twitter to fire insults as well as fire staff members.
In the 1980s, shows existed like “Family Ties,” where Alex P. Keaton, played by Michael J. Fox, was a staunch Ronald Reagan supporter. But Trumpism is now rampant.
In 2018, the president has allegedly called African countries “s—hole” nations and has women filing sexual assault lawsuits against him.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of U.S. hate groups expanded in 2017 under Trump, fueled by his immigration stance and the perception that he sympathized with those espousing white supremacy.
In regard to Trump supporters, will Barr do an episode featuring former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, who congratulated Trump after his first State of the Union address?
How about an episode on a Black man named CJ Cary, a former Marine and staunch Trump supporter, who attended a rally but was thrown out and called a “thug?” Or, how about an episode on two women, Trump supporters, in Arizona who posted videos on Facebook of their road trip with three children to steal materials from the Islamic Community Center of Tempe mosque to stop “an illegal takeover of everything” by Muslims?
Marc Lamont Hill, a Temple University professor and political contributor at CNN, wrote on Facebook that although he thinks “Roseanne,” which premiered on Tuesday to an audience of 18 million viewers, has good writing, he finds the show “problematic.”
“The show frames The Connors (and, by extension, all Trump voters) as well-intentioned, economically vulnerable white people who were simply looking for a better life,” Hill posted on Facebook.
“The Black and gender nonconforming characters are nothing but props who nullify any appropriate critique of the transphobia, xenophobia, and racism that animate the Trump Moment.
“In the ‘Roseanne’ universe, politics are but a matter of harmless disagreement and preference, with no material stakes attached for the most vulnerable.”
The White Working Class is Not in Uniform Support of Trump
Barr said in January at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour that it was the working-class people who elected Trump.
“I have always attempted to portray a realistic portrait of the American people and of working class people,” she said. “And, in fact, it was working-class people who elected Trump.
“So I felt that, yeah, that was very real, and something that needed to be discussed. Especially about polarization in the family, and people actually hating other people for the way they voted, which I feel is not American.”
The 2016 presidential election exit polling data said that Hillary Clinton lost white voters without a college degree in the industrial Midwest by approximately 30 percentage points. The narrative became that all white working class voted for Trump, and less about the Democratic Party losing the votes.
According to a Pew Research Center public opinion survey, 33 percent of Democratic voters and Democratic leaners are whites without college degrees.
“That’s substantially larger than the 26 percent of Democrats who are whites with college degrees — the group that many analysts had come to believe was the dominant constituency in the party,” The New York Time reports.
“According to Pew, this noncollege white 33 percent makes up a larger bloc of the party’s voters than the 28 percent made up of racial and ethnic minorities without degrees. It is also larger than the 12 percent of Democratic voters made up of racial and ethnic minorities with college degrees.
“In sum, Pew’s more precise survey methods reveal that when Democrats are broken down by education, race and ethnicity, the white working class is the largest bloc of Democratic voters and substantially larger than the bloc of white college-educated Democratic voters.”
Trump called Barr on Wednesday to congratulate her on the show’s success. On Thursday, he delivered what was billed as a speech on a massive infrastructure spending plan at the specialized Operating Engineers Local 18 training facility in the village of Richfield, Ohio.
Hundreds of people, many union members, were invited to sit in on his talk.
Toward the end of his speech, he praised Barr:
“Look at Roseanne — look at her ratings,” Trump told the attendees.
He said the ratings “were unbelievable.”
“Over 18 million people,” he said. “And it was about us.”
Trump touts himself as being supportive of white, blue-collar workers in the industrial Midwest, but is always sketchy on the details of how he will help them.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports, “Some in the audience afterward liked what the president had to say about a $1.5 trillion infrastructure spending plan, but added they would have preferred more details.”