The “Last Man Standing” star described her as a longtime pal from their days on the live comedy circuit, but stopped short of defending Barr, whose “Roseanne” reboot was canceled after she tweeted a racist joke.
“I go way back with Rosie and that’s not the Rosie I know,” he said Thursday at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Los Angeles, according to Entertainment Weekly. “She was the most diverse and tolerant woman I’ve ever known for a long time. Whatever got in her head isn’t the Roseanne I know.”
But as far as “Roseanne” is concerned, Allen said ABC “had to do what they had to do and it’s their decision.”
Allen and Barr are both part of a small, but vocal, group of Hollywood stars who have expressed support for President Donald Trump. A year earlier, Allen’s own show was canceled by ABC after six seasons. At the time, Allen and other conservatives suggested the star’s right-leaning political views were to blame ― though ABC denied that was a factor.
“It’s a very icy time,” Allen said Thursday. “I’ve been a comedian for 38 years and I’ve never seen it, like Lenny Bruce said at the Purple Onion, ‘We’ve gone backwards.’ There are things you can’t say. There are things you shouldn’t say. Who makes up these rules? And as a stand-up comic, it’s a dangerous position to be in because I like pushing buttons. It’s unfortunate.”
However, Fox has picked up “Last Man Standing” for a new season this fall. A number of entertainment industry honchos implied the decision to revive the show so soon was prompted, at least in part, by the initial record-breaking success of the “Roseanne” reboot. Barr’s Roseanne Conner character was a Trump supporter, while “Last Man Standing” features a conservative family man, Allen’s Mike Baxter, as its protagonist.
But Allen ― who attended Trump’s inauguration and once compared being a conservative in Hollywood to 1930s Germany ― and his “Last Man Standing” cohorts appeared eager to distance themselves from the “Roseanne” reboot Thursday. For one thing, Allen said fans can expect his character to be “centrist,” rather than a staunch Republican.
“This guy’s a practical guy. He owns a big business. If it’s helping his business, he’s probably pro-Trump,” he said. “He probably doesn’t defend him. Whatever is good for his business and good for the state of Colorado.”