Has Roseanne Barr's views on Muslims changed?
Roseanne Barr addresses Islamophobia in the latest episode of Roseanne and defends the episode after it is aired.
The latest episode of 'Roseanne' addresses the issue of Islamophobia and one could say that it is quite ironic that Roseanne Barr's character happens to be the one to do that because the actress is known for having her own controversial anti-Muslim stance.
Tuesday's episode of Roseanne captures the stereotypical jokes that are usually made on someone when people find that they are Muslim. The episode, titled 'Go Cubs,' starts with Roseanne spying on her Muslim neighbors Fatima (Anne Bedian) and Samir (Alain Washnevsk). Convinced that they are probably “sleeper cell full of terrorists getting ready to blow up our neighborhood", Roseanne tries to convince Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) and their friend, Anne-Marie (Adilah Barnes) of the same.
"That's how they make bombs!" Roseanne can be seen saying on the show. According to Entertainment Tonight, the episode has several other jokes about the family being friends with ISIS, and their son sleeping in a bulletproof vest because he is worried about the different threats he has received over time from the neighbors.
While it might come as a shock to many, Dave Caplan, co-executive producer of the show confirmed to the magazine that it was Roseanne's idea to address this topic on the show. "She wanted to get a comeuppance for her own bias... that was her idea," he said.
In the episode, Roseanne's character ends up learning the rightful that 'they are like us'. At the end of the episode, there is a particular incident which shows Roseanne defending her neighbor Fatima when a supermarket cashier assails her with bigoted insults.
"You are ignorant," snaps Roseanne in the show. "That woman is twice the person you'll ever be." While the show did manage to address such a sensitive topic in a show such as 'Roseanne', people were not quite happy to see the way they decided to do so. People quickly took to Twitter to express their disappointment towards the show.
“This is tired. Roseanne thinking her Muslim neighbors are terrorists isn’t funny. Not even for a second. Muslims deal with that bigotry on a daily basis. And it’s dangerous," one user wrote. “If we were really concerned with dispelling Muslim stereotypes, how about give a Muslim family their own show?”
However, there were some who appreciated the show's stance.
One comment read, "I just watched it. I laughed and was moved as well. I appreciate Roseanne’s recognition of rising Islamophobia in the US."
Roseanne even took to Twitter herself to defend her decision of airing the episode. “That’s what I do,” she wrote. “Next season will be even more current events — I will challenge every sacred cow the in USA. Tonight’s show is about the impact of legal and illegal immigration on our family."
In the past, the actress has surrounded herself with controversy for tweeting for calling Muslims, Palestinians and Palestinian rights campaigners as "Nazis" on social media. At the same time, she is also a big supporter of Trump who called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. While Roseanne has deleted most of these tweets, her idea of taking a stand on Islamophobia might be a hint that the actress has changed some of her viewpoints.