“What’s up, Deplorable?”
That’s how self-described “proud Deplorable” Roseanne Barr’s title character was greeted by her pussy hat-wearing sister (two-time Emmy winner Laurie Metcalf) in the first episode of her rebooted sitcom Roseanne.
A record-breaking 18 million viewers tuned into ABC Tuesday night to watch the return of the 1990s queen of sitcom. After a 20-year absence, Barr revived her award-winning role as the matriarch of the working class Conner family of Lanford, Illinois. And Trump’s America found a champion.
After the 2016 election, Hollywood executives realized how ridiculously out of step they were with their audience. If the box office collapse and network television implosion wasn’t proof enough, the election of Donald Trump left no doubt they were clueless about life outside their media bubble.
Hillary’s loss came as a complete shock to them because, to paraphrase Pauline Kael’s infamous (and probably apocryphal) quote about Nixon’s 1972 victory, they didn’t know anyone who voted for Trump.
Well, actually, they did know at least one Trump voter: Roseanne Barr.
For a brief time following the election, Hollywood’s top brass tossed around the idea of reaching out to Trump’s forgotten men and women with targeted programming. Most of those early conciliatory gestures gave way to pussy hat protests, Russian conspiracies, and mass “un-friend-ings.” The #Resistance furthered the divide.
But one project did break through the political noise, as the entertainment industry turned to an old pro for guidance.