John Goodman has said he was “very depressed” after his hit TV show Roseanne was axed following an offensive tweet from its star Roseanne Barr.

The programme was cancelled in May after Barr referred to former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett as a product of the “Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet Of The Apes”.

The show had not long returned after 21 years off screen and was going down a storm with viewers before it was axed.

Goodman told The Times he was devastated – and surprised – insisting Barr was “not a racist”.

The actor, who played Roseanne’s husband Dan Connor in the comedy, said: “I was broken-hearted, but I thought, ‘OK, it’s just showbusiness, I’m going to let it go’.

“But I went through a period, about a month, where I was very depressed.

“I’m a depressive anyway, so any excuse that I can get to lower myself, I will. But that had a great deal to do with it, more than I wanted to admit.”

He said of US network ABC’s reaction to Barr’s tweet: “I was surprised. I’ll put it this way, I was surprised at the response.

“I know, I know for a fact, that she’s not a racist.”

In June, ABC announced a spin-off to the show that will not feature Barr.

The programme has the working title The Conners and will star Goodman, Sara Gilbert and Laurie Metcalf, as well as other Roseanne actors.

Goodman appeared to confirm that Barr’s character Roseanne Connor would be killed off as he said Dan would be “mopey and sad because his wife’s dead”.

He said Barr signed a document relinquishing her rights to the show so the rest of the cast could continue.

“I sent her an email and thanked her for that,” he said.

“I did not hear anything back, but she was going through hell at the time. And she’s still going through hell.”

The spin-off is due to air this autumn and will take over the slot vacated by the cancelled sitcom.

Press Association