Roseanne Barr changed television in 1988 with the sitcom Roseanne, about a working class family with a strong matriarch who was funny, hard-working and a feminist. Most notably, Roseanne Connor was real and she and the rest of the Connor clan represented the families that were— and still aren’t— well represented on the small screen.
After the series ended in 1997, Barr tried her hand as a talk show host, returned to her roots as a comic, and dipped her toes into reality TV in Lifetime’s Roseanne’s Nuts which chronicled her life as a macadamia nut farmer in Hawaii. When the show was cancelled after one season, she ran for president. Although she did not make it into the oval office, her journey was documented for a documentary aptly titled, Roseanne for President. In support of its July 1 release, she spoke to IndieWire about her future plans, which do not include plans for more scripted television.
“I just gave up,” she said. She recalled the dead-end meetings she had with network executive, “Here’s what I heard,” she said. “‘Well, do you have any samples of your writing?’ That’s what they’d ask me.’ Do you have any samples of your writing so that we could help you get a job?’”
She added, “They’re like 14 years old, running the agency because their dad did. That was the last time I took a meeting. It was just unbelievable to me.”
Barr did, however, find that she had a great time creating documentaries while investing 300 plus hours to her latest release. “I really enjoyed this documentary film thing a lot, even though it took five hard years,” she said. “I enjoy saying what I want to say and doing what I want to do. I just kind of got seduced into that whole world of one subject and 90 minutes.”