Nearly 40 years apart, ABC fired Suzanne Somers from Three’s Company and Roseanne Barr from Roseanne. The context, however, is starkly different. In 1980, Somers was booted for asking for the same pay as co-star John Ritter. Earlier this year, Roseanne was fired for equating former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape.
But in a new interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Somers weighed in on Roseanne’s firing — and whether her former employer made the right decision.
“Roseanne is extremely unique, and she’s fearless,” said Somers. “[She] took a point of view that’s very unpopular right now, so she hit the eye of the storm … with the 50 percent of the country who is pro-Trump and 50 percent who is not.”
Roseanne herself has stated that her firing was because of her politics, saying in a YouTube video posted in July that “[I was fired] because I voted for Donald Trump, and that is not allowed in Hollywood.”
Somers thinks that Roseanne’s swift dismissal will cost the network, saying, “The anti-Trumps won in this case, but really I think the network lost big.”
Earlier this month, ABC premiered the Roseanne spinoff, called The Conners, which explained the former lead’s absence by saying her character had died of an opioid overdose. It pulled in 10.5 million viewers, certainly a respectable number but a substantial drop from the whopping 18.2 million people who watched the Roseanne reboot in March.
“The ratings on the spinoff show were nowhere near what any one of the Roseanne shows accomplished,” said Somers. “And [ABC] won’t be able to sit with that for very long, unless some miracle happens.” She added that she’d like that miracle to happen, though, saying, “They’re all really nice people that are on the show.”
The future of The Conners remains to be seen, but there’s a glimmer of hope for fans: On Friday, ABC ordered an additional episode of the show.
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