Roseanne reboot to feature first non-binary character on network TV
Roseanne will include a “gender creative” child in its reboot, according to reports.
The hit sitcom from the late 80s and 90s will become the first show on network TV to feature a non-binary character.
Showtime drama Billions was the first programme to do so, introducing super-intelligent hedge fund intern Taylor – played by Asia Kate Dillon, who is also non-binary – on the cable show earlier this year.
The talented Dillon’s rise to prominence led the Emmy Awards to allow Dillon to choose which gendered award category they would prefer to be considered for.
Organisers took the step after the Dillon wrote to them with the concern that as it stood, there seemed to be, as she put it, “no room for my identity”.
And now, classic sitcom Roseanne will break another barrier.
When we rejoin the story, Darlene and David – played by Sara Gilbert and Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki – have had a son and a daughter.
And according to Showbiz 411, the couple’s son, nine-year-old Mark, will be “gender creative.”
The showrunners’ casting call is requesting children who can play a “sensitive and effeminate” part which “displays qualities of both young female and male traits.”
The show has taken controversial moves to include LGBT content before, having featured a lesbian kiss in a 1994 episode called Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Roseanne will return – with its original cast, including John Goodman and Sarah Chalke – in 2018.
The reboot’s revelation follows news that a student on Netflix’s Canadian show Degrassi: Next Class will come out as non-binary in its new season.
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Non-binary people are gradually achieving more recognition in the wider world as well, with Washington DC becoming the first US territory to hand out gender-neutral driving licenses and ID cards.
Oregon has also taken the plunge and legally recognised non-binary people – the first state to do so – but it has not started giving out the new documents just yet.
And California is currently moving a similar law through its legislature.
Sara Gilbert, who played Darlene on Roseanne, hit the headlines when she came out as a lesbian in 2010.