Roseanne Barr on Fighting the Hollywood Establishment

Twenty years ago, Roseanne Barr became a breakout success in the pioneering sitcom Roseanne, and earned herself a reputation for being an on-set nightmare and all-around lunatic. Barr’s version of events, however, is both more nuanced, and more plausible.

Barr recalls many of her struggles with the Hollywood “Boys Club” in the current New York magazine:

It didn’t take long for me to get a taste of the staggering sexism and class bigotry that would make the first season of Roseanne god-awful. It was at the premiere party when I learned that my stories and ideas—and the ideas of my sister and my first husband, Bill—had been stolen. The pilot was screened, and I saw the opening credits for the first time, which included this: CREATED BY MATT WILLIAMS.

Roseanne fought bitterly for, and eventually won, credit for her own work. But she contends that the class bigotry and sexism she encountered in Hollywood 20 years ago is just as fierce today:

Hollywood hates labor, and hates shows about labor worse than any other thing. And that’s why you won’t be seeing another Roseanne anytime soon. Instead, all over the tube, you will find enterprising, overmedicated, painted-up, capitalist whores claiming to be housewives. But I’m not bitter.

The full essay is available on the New York magazine website, and well worth a read.