Viewers that watched Tuesday’s premiere of The Conners finally found out what happened to Roseanne Barr‘s character, Roseanne Conner. At the top of the spinoff sitcom that replaced Roseanne, viewers learned that the TV matriarch died. This came after Barr’s racist tweet in May that led to her firing and the top-rated sitcom’s cancellation.

Her character’s cause of death was opioid drug use that aggravated existing health conditions.

Barr responded back with a tweet shortly after the episode aired on the east coast. It read “I ain’t dead, b——!”

She also released a carefully crafted statement with her friend and adviser, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. In it, she argued that the show had an importance in addressing deep divisions threatening society and celebrating a strong matriarch. They also complained about the character’s cause of death.


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“While we wish the very best for the cast and production crew of ‘The Conners’ … we regret that ABC chose to cancel ‘Roseanne’ by killing off the Roseanne Conner character,” the statement says. “That it was done through an opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show. … This was a choice the network did not have to make.”

They also said ABC refused to forgive Barr and give her another chance after her racist tweet, which was directed at Valerie Jarrett, an adviser to former President Barack Obama.

“After repeated and heartfelt apologies, the network was unwilling to look past a regrettable mistake, thereby denying the twin American values of both repentance and forgiveness,” they say.


There was previous speculation that the death of Barr’s character would be the only way a new series about the Conners could continue. John Goodman, who plays Roseanne’s husband, Dan, let it out that Roseanne died during a summer interview.

On Tuesday’s episode, to the surprise of the Conners, it was revealed that Roseanne overdosed on opioids. Family members thought a heart attack was the cause. In the series, Roseanne had a problem with painkillers during the last season because of knee pain.

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