'The Conners' Star Lecy Goranson Has 'A Lot of Empathy' for Roseanne Barr Following Premiere (Exclusive)

'The Conners' and 'Roseanne' star Lecy Goranson
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Lecy Goranson might not agree with Roseanne Barr's criticism of The Conners, but she still seems to feel bad for the embattled actress.

ET caught up with the actress -- who now stars on the Roseanne spinoff as Becky Conner-Healy, the eldest daughter of the fictional Conner family matriarch -- and she opened up about a statement Barr released Tuesday evening after the premiere of The Conners.

After it was revealed that Barr's character had been killed off through an accidental overdose of opioids, the comedian released a statement slamming the episode, explaining that the decision to have her die from drug abuse "lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show."

According to Goranson, Barr's description of Roseanne doesn't reflect the show as it really was.

"I don't know what show that she's referring to but I've never seen our show as a happy family show," Goranson, 44, told ET. "I think our show is funny, I think that it's real, I think that everyone who's on the show and a part of the show has a vested interest in it being grounded and for it to resonate, I just don't see it as a happy family show."

For Goranson, the series -- which follows a working class, middle-American family with varying political viewpoints who are just trying to make their way in life -- has always strived to depict "realistic scenarios and realistic relationships," which is why the death of the Roseanne character may have hit Barr as hard as it did.

"I understand why the finality of that would give her a considerable amount of pain and for that I really have a lot of empathy for her," the actress shared.

That being said, Goranson added that she may have empathy but she doesn't have a tremendous amount of pity for the outspoken comedian -- who was fired and had her show canceled in May after posting controversial and racist remarks on Twitter.

"I hope to be in contact with Roseanne at some point, right now I feel like the emotions are still pretty high, I know all of us are in pain," she said. "I also have a lot of mixed feelings about it [and] I feel, in part, that maybe she hasn't taken accountability for what happened."

When Roseanne was canceled due to Barr's shocking and divisive comments, it left the entire cast in a state of limbo before ABC decided to launch the spinoff. "[I] feel like I was put out, and people I love were put out," she said. "I'm not walking around in a rage and I'm not bitter but that's how I feel right now."

"Do I hope that, eventually, we can be in each others' lives? A million percent, because I love her," she continued. "I always have and I always will."

As for the plan to deal with Roseanne's disappearance from the family unit in the new series, Goranson said that the solution they went with took a lot of time and development.

"The decision of how to deal with Roseanne's absence was not an overnight one," she shared. "I know that it was definitely something that was debated extensively and what everyone kind of agreed on was that it was part of just a natural order of the story from last season."

"We knew she was hooked on opioids, we knew she had a problem. That's how last season left," Goranson continued. "I think everyone said, 'Let's go through with this and see what it's like for a family to be in mourning and to try to grapple with that and find the strength to move forward.'"

The Conners airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

For more on Barr's response to her character's emotional and dramatic death, check out the video below.


Roseanne Barr Won't Be Watching 'The Conners' Premiere, Source Says

Fans React to Roseanne's Fate in 'The Conners'

Roseanne Barr Fallout: A Complete Guide to How Her Racist Tweet Led to Cancellation and 'The Conners'

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