‘Roseanne’ reboot casts Black actress to play DJ’s wife

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The cast of Roseanne is now The Conners. (ABC)

One Black woman bites the dust, as ABC’s Roseanne spinoff The Conners gets its casting all settled.

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Maya Lynne Robinson will now play Geena Williams-Conner, the wife of DJ (Michael Fishman), replacing the other black woman Xosha Roquemore, who played the role before the show got the boot, reports Shadow and Act.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the incredibly talented Maya Lynne Robinson to the cast this season. Her character, 2nd Lieutenant Geena Conner, whom a younger DJ was reluctant to kiss in his school play, comes full circle as his wife and Mary’s mother, bringing back a little piece of Conner history. Yet, while Geena is no stranger to the family, viewers old and new will enjoy seeing how her ‘military-style’ discipline meshes with the Conners’ more laid-back attitude,” showrunner Bruce Helford said in a statement.

ABC has greenlit The Conners, a 10-episode spinoff that will feature the same family (minus, of course, Barr) and premiere in the fall, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

THR reports the comedy will follow the daily struggles and travails of the Conner family who, after a sudden turn of events, are forced to juggle life in ways they never have before.

The show will star John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman—basically, everyone but Roseanne Barr. And ABC stressed in making its announcement on Thursday that Barr has nothing to do with the new show, financially or creatively. Barr will retain rights to the Roseanne Conner character.

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ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey fired Barr for her malicious tweets suggesting that former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett is an ape.

“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” Dungey said in a statement.

Jarrett, who could not have been blamed for reading Barr for filth after what she did, took the high road when asked about the offensive tweets during a subsequent appearance on an MSNBC town hall.

“I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment,” Jarrett said “I’m fine. I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and followers who come right to their defense–the person who’s walking down the street minding their own business and they see somebody cling to their purse or walk across the street. Or every black parent I know who has a boy who has to sit down and have a conversation, ‘the talk’ as we call it. Those ordinary examples of racism that happen every single day.”

The Conners will air on ABC October 16 at 8/7c.

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