Who is she?
Roseanne Barr is an American comedian, actress, writer and TV producer. She started her career as a stand-up comedian, and her popularity led her to star in her own TV show, Roseanne, which ran for nine seasons, from 1988 to 1997.
Roseanne was years ahead of its time – it tackled some serious issues, like domestic violence, poverty, alcoholism, abortion and gay marriage. It was also the first TV show to show a working class American family, warts and all.
In particular, the show highlights life for working class women and the challenges they face every day. As a TV character, Roseanne was sassy and unstoppable – the antithesis of the traditional TV housewife.
Roseanne herself faced the sexism of the TV industry – when her show hit No.1, she memorably was sent a chocolate “1” while male stars with No.1 shows “were being sent Bentleys and Porsches”, according to her.
Why should we thank her?
Roseanne was a pioneer for women in comedy and American TV, and her show has left a lasting influence – I’d argue it’s still ahead of its time today (the episodes dealing with Jackie’s domestic violence are still some of the best TV I’ve ever seen). Roseanne was a major breakthrough for how women were depicted on TV.
“The thing women have yet to learn is that no one gives you power. You just take it.”