‘The Conners’: Original ‘Roseanne’ Star Breaks Silence on Series Exit

by Tia Bailey

It was recently announced that actor Michael Fishman would not be returning to season 5 of The Conners. Fishman, who played D.J. Conner, has finally spoken out about his non-return.

He shared a statement with PEOPLE regarding the situation. ““It has been my honor to play D.J. Conner,” Fishman said. “It’s every actors dream to be a series regular, especially on a groundbreaking show, where we tackle significant topics.”

Fishman also spoke about the impact the show had on him. 

“The opportunity to do comedy and drama alongside iconic castmates, while reaching fans in meaningful ways has profoundly impacted my life. I am proud of the work I did as part of Roseanne and The Conners. Especially the privilege of playing a Military Veteran, Interracial Spouse, and the father of a Bi-racial child, portrayed by the amazing Jayden Rey.”

He revealed that he was simply told he was not returning to the show. 

“While I wholeheartedly will miss Friday night tapings in front of our loyal audiences, alongside our amazing cast and crew, I am excited for the opportunities coming in the next chapter of my career,” he continued. “While I was told I would not be returning for season 5, Lanford was a valuable place to grow up, learn and develop. I was incredibly lucky to return home and demonstrate my expansion. As I venture into the world to build the future, I send tremendous love and success to everyone involved in production.”

According to PEOPLE, “the door will remain open for the actor to return some day if he chooses” from the story arc explaining his absence. 

Fishman shared that he “prides himself on professionalism,” and that he achieved dreams with lifelong friends on the show.

‘The Conners’ New Season Premieres Next Month Minus Michael Fishman

Fishman was an original member of the show, dating back to Roseanne.

The new season of The Conners premieres in less than a month. The official Twitter account for the series tweeted on August 22: “The Conners as seen in their natural habitat. The 1 month countdown until a new season begins now!!”

Fans are excited for the show to be back. One reply reads: “I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE … the new logo reveal. The series is FANTASTIC! I hope all’s well with everyone involved with the series. I hope the series lasts for sometime to come.”

However, some called out the show for the situation with Fishman and actress Jayden Rey. One Twitter user said: “I think it’s pretty problematic that you left out @ReelMFishman and the series’ only black actress @JAYDENREYNYLA -with barely any screen time/story for these two for the past two years. What gives? What happened to the “inclusion” you boasted about after Roseanne’s firing?”

Although Rey will still be in the show, her role will have even less screentime, cutting down to guest starring appearances.