Guest Columnist

Don't blame 'Roseanne' for Trump; funny is funny

Roseanne Barr on the “Roseanne” reboot. (Greg Gayne/ABC)
Roseanne Barr on the “Roseanne” reboot. (Greg Gayne/ABC)

It’s funny to see so many people on Twitter, Facebook and other social media soapboxes taking a stand against a TV sitcom.

Rebooting the popular 1990s sitcom “Roseanne” — about a struggling working class family with an outspoken, gum-smacking matriarch — managed to offend some left-leaning television connoisseurs.

Because Roseanne Barr in real life backs President Donald Trump, and because she also parrots wacky, right-wing conspiracy theories, some say they just can’t bring themselves to watch her show.

For them, the updated version of a TV program that was hugely popular when President Bill Clinton was in the White House should be viewed as another Red State vs. Blue State dividing line.

It’s too bad. Those tuning out “Roseanne” are missing out on a show that’s smart, funny and not scared to tackle topics that affect both ends of the political spectrum.

Yes, during the revamped show’s debut Barr’s character stuck up for Trump. Yet, she was also mocked by her on-screen sister for falling for Trump’s campaign sales pitch.

And despite Barr’s support for a president who divides the country with his views on race, homosexuality and the treatment of women, that’s not the message viewers get from her new show.

Her fictional family includes a black granddaughter and a grandson who feels more comfortable wearing girls’ clothes. It’s a family getting left behind by an improving economy and a family struggling to afford health care.

Trump was quick to congratulate Barr on the estimated 18 million viewers who watched the show’s relaunch, but, like Barr’s critics, the president didn’t seem to pay attention to what the show portrayed.

With a reality star president, we should have known TV shows other than “Meet the Press” would be wading more and more into our national political debate.

Critics of the president could use that to their advantage. Instead of lashing out at “Roseanne,” perhaps they could send a political message by launching their own TV reboots.

Still upset about Trump worsening the racial divide? Start filming a revamped “Dukes of Hazard.”

Instead of two redneck cousins racing around with a Confederate flag atop their car, today’s version could feature a happily married gay couple righting wrongs in a rainbow-flag-adorned Prius.

Or redo Trump’s favorite old show, “The Apprentice.” Instead of a billionaire firing celebrities vying for his approval, the main character hires undocumented immigrants — for jobs that don’t include waiting tables or making beds at a Trump resort.

Even better, keep the “Fox & Friends” hosts, but allow NPR to write everything that goes into the teleprompters.

We can make America great again, one television show at a time.

• Andy Reid is a Sun Sentinel columnist distributed by Tribune News Service.

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