Showtime has confirmed that Rosie O’Donnell will take part of the newest comedy pilot SMILF.
The show is based on Frankie Shaw’s Sundance Film Festival Jury Award-winning short film about Bridgette, a young single mother (played by Shaw) who moves to Los Angeles to try and become an actress.
O’Donnell will play Bridgette’s mother, Tutu, who is “unapologetic and oblivious to social convention.” The pilot will also feature three guest stars, Alex Brightman, Kyle Vincent and Graham Rogers.
Shaw wrote, produced, will star in, and directed the semi-autobiographical pilot with Michael London, Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky.
The news of O’Donnell’s involvement in the show came a day after Trump was elected president. O’Donnell tweeted a simple word, “cry” after learning her favored candidate, Hillary Clinton, had not won.
O’Donnell and Trump have a long history.
In May 2007 O’Donnell left The View, a show she co-hosted after just eight months, during a heated discussion with another host, Elisabeth Hasselbeck over the Iraq war. While Trump insulted both hosts, he (sort of) took O’Donnell’s side.
“On this one I think Rosie should win, but Rosie is not much herself. I think anybody that’s against the war in Iraq is the winner of the fight, because to justify the war in Iraq – only an imbecile could do that,” Trump said.
In December 2011, after O’Donnell announced her engagement to Michelle Rounds, Trump spoke out against her on Twitter.
“I feel sorry for Rosie’s new partner in love whose parents are devastated at the thought of their daughter being with @Rosie — a true loser,” he wrote.
He called her show on Oprah Winfrey’s network a “complete and total disaster.”
“It’s amazing,” Trump said. “When I don’t like somebody their shows do really badly.”
In May 2012, when Cher spoke out against Mitt Romney, Trump took to Twitter to insult both Cher and O’Donnell in the same tweet.
“@Cher attacked @MittRomney,” he tweeted. “She is an average talent who is out of touch with reality. Like @Rosie O’Donnell, a total loser!”
Trump did tweet his well wishes to O’Donnell in August 2012 after O’Donnell had a heart attack, saying, “@Rosie, get better fast. I’m starting to miss you!”
However, in 2013, Trump was back at it after O’Donnell went through a 50-pound weight loss surgery.
“Rosie O’Donnell just said she felt ‘shame’ at being fat – not politically correct! She killed Star Jones for weight loss surgery, just had it!” Trump tweeted.
In July 2014, O’Donnell announced her return to The View and Trump had some things to say about it.
“Rosie is back on The View which tells you how desperate they must be,” he wrote. “It is the standard short term fix and the long term disaster.”
Then an hour later: “Rosie is crude, rude, obnoxious and dumb – other than that I like her very much!”
In September 2014, O’Donnell opened up to People about the bullying she felt after her weight loss.
“Probably the Trump stuff was the most bullying I ever experienced in my life, including as a child,” she said. “It was national, and it was sanctioned societally. Whether I deserved it is up to your own interpretation.”
“@Rosie – No offense, and good luck on the new show, but remember, you started it!” Trump tweeted in response.
During the first Republican presidential primary debate in August 2015, Fox News host and moderator Megyn Kelly asked Trump about using words like “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs,” and “disgusting animals,” to describe women. He responded, “Only Rosie O’Donnell,” which got applause and laughter from the crowd. “I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her,” he said.
The next day he spoke of the incident on Fox and Friends, saying Kelly “hit me with a very, very hard question. That was when I came up with the Rosie O’Donnell statement, which really got a tremendous applause,” he said. “That was the biggest applause in the evening actually, so it was sort of interesting.”
While O’Donnell may not have had Trump’s support, she certainly did of many other people, including a lot of celebrities who spoke out in her defense on Twitter.
O’Donnell’s involvement in SMILF marks the beginning of O’Donnell’s return to television since The View in early 2015, though she did have some guest roles in shows like The Fosters, Mom, and Empire.
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