‘We understand that she’s hurting right now’: ‘The Conners’ stars address Roseanne’s reaction to getting killed off the show

Sisters Becky and Darlene aren't sure how to handle the family's growing collection of debt after the death of Roseanne.

Sisters Becky and Darlene aren’t sure how to handle the family’s growing collection of debt after the death of Roseanne.
ABC/Eric McCandless

Warning: There are spoilers ahead for “The Conners.”

Roseanne Barr isn’t a fan of how her character was killed off “The Conners” premiere by an opioid overdose, but two cast members are standing by how the show wrote the character off ABC’s “Roseanne” spin-off.

“We really miss Roseanne and love her very much,” said Lecy Goranson, who plays Roseanne’s daughter Becky, on “Good Morning America” Wednesday morning. “Her spirit is still very much with us, so we understand that she’s hurting right now and she’s in pain. She’s always with us, so hopefully we can see her and kind of remedy some of this at some point in time.”

Goranson appeared on the ABC daytime morning show along with co-star Michael Fishman, who plays her younger brother on the spin-off, and new cast member Maya Lynne to discuss “The Conners.”

Lecy Goranson, Michael Fishman, and Maya Lynne.

Lecy Goranson, Michael Fishman, and Maya Lynne.

After “The Conners” premiere, Barr released a lengthy statement expressing her disappointment in the network’s decision to kill off her iconic TV mom by overdose, saying her character’s death “lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show.

In May, ABC canceled its successful “Roseanne” revival after Barr compared former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape. The network later announced “The Conners” with the entire cast returning, except Barr. In a pre-taped interview with “Vice News Tonight,” which aired Tuesday evening, Barr said she doesn’t keep in touch with anyone on the show.

On “GMA,” Fishman said it “was strange at first” to start “The Conners” without Barr.

“The tone of the way she passed away was related to last season,” Fishman added, referring to Roseanne Conner’s painkiller addiction on the “Roseanne” revival. “If you listen to our producers, they really wanted to take a real crisis that’s happening to our country and find a way to give voice to that. I know that the reaction to that is going to be different for different people, but we’ve always tried to tackle big topics and be very honest about them.”

Fishman’s words echoed what executive producer Tom Werner told an audience Tuesday evening in New York City at a PaleyFest panel INSIDER attended.

“This was a challenge that Roseanne Conner was dealing with last year, and we felt that this was something that could shine a light on something,” said Werner.

“I think that there will be people talking about this and how it affects the family. And obviously it touches on healthcare issues,” he added.

You can watch part of the interview below.

“The Conners” airs on ABC Tuesdays at 8 p.m. You can read our review of the premiere here.

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