“Three’s Company” star Suzanne Somers (pictured above right) believes ABC made a big mistake when it fired Roseanne Barr from her own show earlier this year.
“The anti-Trumps won in this case, but really I think the network lost big,” the actress told Yahoo Entertainment about the situation in an interview published Tuesday.
Barr was let go from her incredibly popular sitcom “Roseanne” after she sent out a tweet targeting former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. Some deemed the tweet racist, while Barr chalked it up to a bad joke fueled by Ambien.
Despite an immediate apology, ABC fired Barr — which many believe was politically motivated due to the comedian’s rightward leanings and her Trump support — and spun her show off into “The Conners.” The new sitcom follows all of the characters from “Roseanne” except Barr’s central character — who was killed off by an opioid overdose.
Ratings for “The Conners” have not been great. They’re especially bad when compared to the monster numbers that “Roseanne” earned. Despite this, ABC recently ordered a new episode of the series, likely in an attempt to give a positive spin to the new series.
Somers, 72, recognized the ratings decline and mentioned it as a reason for ABC to regret its Barr decision.
“The ratings on the spinoff show were nowhere near what any one of the ‘Roseanne’ shows accomplished,” Somers said.
She added that the network “won’t be able to sit with that for very long, unless some miracle happens.”
Somers revealed in the interview that she is a fan of Barr.
“Roseanne is extremely unique, and she’s fearless,” she said.
The actress and author continued, “[She] took a point of view that’s very unpopular right now, so she hit the eye of the storm … with the 50 percent of the country who is pro-Trump and 50 percent who is not.”
Somers herself was fired by ABC 40 years ago from “Three’s Company” after asking for a pay raise.
“At year six, what I was really trying to do was not much feminism, but I think we all should be paid commensurate with the amount of tickets that we sell, and I was selling more tickets than any other woman on television,” she said.
The actress added, “So why were all the men who weren’t selling as many tickets as me being paid 10 and 15 times more?”
The pay raise Somers sought on the ’70s sitcom would have made her earnings the same as lead actor John Ritter, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Ritter was earning $150,000 an episode at the time, while Somers was making only $30,000. Instead of being given what she wanted, the network offered her only a $5,000-an-episode pay raise.
Since leaving the show, Somers has become a best-selling author. She’s written multiple autobiographies, diet books and even a collection of poetry.
Check out a clip from “The Conners” below: