This is what the “Roseanne” reboot gets wrong about Trump supporters
After much anticipation, Roseanne returned to ABC to great acclaim, and the show has even already been renewed for another season. But the rebooted sitcom has also incited controversy, both for its star’s problematic political views and the way the show depicts politics. Some critics even argue that the Roseanne reboot perpetuates a stereotype about Trump supporters.
Roseanne was brought back seemingly on the premise that white working-class Americans are underrepresented on television. (Sure, Jan.) But op-ed writer Eugene Scott points out in The Washington Post that there is no lack of white working-class families on TV.
"Between rallies and focus groups, a case could be made that no demographic from the 2016 election has received more airtime than white, working-class Trump supporters," Scott argues in the op-ed.
Scott adds that while Trump won among voters without college degrees, not every voter without a college degree can be considered working class. In fact, Scott points out, 20 percent of Trump supporters without college degrees live in a household with an income greater than $100,000.
On top of this, exit polls show that many Trump voters have college degrees. While 45 percent of white voters with college degrees voted for Hillary Clinton, 48 percent selected Trump. On the other hand, 72 percent of people of color with college degrees voted for Clinton. And, as Roxane Gay notes in a New York Times op-ed, depicting Trump voters as both white and working-class ignores the many working-class voters who are neither white nor Trump supporters.
"What often goes unsaid is that when the working class is defined in our cultural imagination, we are talking about white people, even though the real American working class is made up of people from many races and ethnicities," Gay writes in the Times.
Other critics of the Roseanne reboot have noted that the show depicts Trump voters as socially progressive people who looked past Trump’s social policies in favor of his economic promises, which definitely isn’t the case for many who voted for him. Some are likening the depiction to downright fantasy — and a dangerous one at that.
Whether you love the new Roseanne or hate it, it’s fair to say it doesn’t present an entirely accurate depiction of the working class or of Trump voters. The bottom line is that TV doesn’t capture the full American narrative, so it’s important to seek out the complete picture.