Michael Fishman’s exit from The Conners was not his choice.
The actor, who has played the role of D.J. Conner since 1988, was revealed to be leaving The Conners ahead of its fifth season this week.
Now, the star has opened up about the news, revealing that he was not asked back for The Conners Season 5.
“It has been my honor to play DJ Conner,” Fishman said in a statement to People.
“It’s every actor’s dream to be a series regular, especially on a groundbreaking show, where we tackle significant topics,” his statement continues.
“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 biracial child, portrayed by the amazing Jayden Rey.”
““While I was told I would not be returning for Season 5, Lanford was a valuable place to grow up, learn and develop,” he continued.
“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.”
Fishman appeared in 36 of 71 episodes of The Conners throughout its run.
He has worked behind the scenes of the show, and it’s unclear at this stage whether he will be back behind the scenes in any capacity.
Series regulars locked in for The Conners Season 5 include John Goodman (Dan), Laurie Metcalf (Jackie), Sara Gilbert (Becky), Lecy Goranson (Becky), Emma Kenney (Harris), Ames McNamara (Mark), and Jay R. Ferguson (Ben).
Katey Sagal will be back in a recurring role as Louise.
“The Conners continue to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford. This iconic family — Dan, Jackie, Darlene and Becky — grapples with parenthood, dating, financial pressures and aging in working-class America,” it reads.
“Through it all — the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns — with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails.”
The fifth season is set to premiere Wednesday, Sept. 21st at 8/7c on the network.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.