Twenty-one years ago Roseanne Barr planted a kiss on Mariel Hemingway in her television show Roseanne and caused a lot of controversy.
“It’s so different to watch it now…because they’re repackaged it as ‘the gay kiss show,’ and it was a gay kiss, but to me, that show was about homophobia,” Barr told HuffPost.
The episode, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” had ABC initially threatening “to cancel it and everything.” However, their minds changed when the network decided to add a parental advisory warning before. Plus, The Los Angeles Times reported that 75 percent of the viewer calls to ABC “expressed a favorable reaction” in 1994.
During the now infamous episode, Roseanne goes to a gay bar with her sister Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) and friend Nancy (Sandra Bernhard) and Nancy’s girlfriend Sharon (Hemingway). Sharon kisses Roseanne, whose character has a mixed reaction.
According to Barr, the controversy around the episode didn’t matter to her because it hit close to home.
“My brother and sister are both gay,” she said. “I just got tired of hearing bulls—t about it, so I wanted to do [this episode].”