When the new season begins next month, viewers of ABC’s Roseanne will see 1) the beefing up of the show’s gay character, 2) daughter Darlene becoming more of a beatnik, and 3) the Connors facing financial peril as they try to run the motorcycle shop they bought last season. But another change — and this one is real subtle — occurs in the opening credits, where Roseanne Barr marks the official change of her professional name to Roseanne Arnold.
Yes, it’s all coming back to you now. Remember when she and Roseanne coexecutive producer Tom Arnold renewed their vows June 23? And she said she’d take his name if he converted to Judaism? Well, he did and she did, but her campaign to bar Barr has gone unheeded. Nearly every reference to her in the media uses her taboo name.
Known for her equanimity, the star understands. ”I know it’ll take some people a long time to remember,” says Roseanne, ”but if they don’t get it, they’re idiots!” Arnold, always by her side, puts it in perspective. ”It’s like Muhammad Ali, right, honey? They called him Cassius Clay for the longest time.”
And the media has sometimes been agreeable. Says Warren Cereghino, news director of L.A.’s KTLA-TV, ”I’m sure if we’ve been still calling her Barr, it’s due to forgetfulness. Maybe she should send us one of those life-size cardboard cutouts with a balloon saying, ‘My name is Arnold.”’