Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

September-22-98

New NBC Show Will Feature First Gay Male Lead

NBC's Will and Grace, a new television program that will debut this fall, appears to be based on a standard sitcom scenario. The male and female leads are portrayed as best friends who are not dating each other, but appear perfect for one another. In sitcoms of the past, the two leads wind up realizing their everlasting love for each other and get married.

However, Will and Grace's relationship alters the standard sitcom formula in at least one major way, because Will is gay.

Will will be the first gay male lead character in a prime-time series. Ellen, of course, was the first lesbian lead character.

Why is Will and Grace appearing so soon after Ellen was cancelled? Is it merely the perogative of a different network? The fact that it features a gay man instead of a lesbian?

Actor Eric McCormack, who plays Will, stated, "Ellen was about a woman discovering the 'new her,' so the show couldn't help but be in-your-face. This (show) is about guys who have been gay for 15 years, 20 years. They've been out for a long time, they're comfortable with it. . .so we don't have to make an issue of it."

Director James Burrows, famous for NBC's hit shows "Cheers" and "Frasier," said that "Ellen" is "more of a proselytizing gay show. Will and Grace is about a relationship between friends where one just happens to be gay."

Some have accused the show of trying to "soft-sell" gay material. McCormack even admits, "I think you can actually watch the pilot and miss that he's gay."

So far, there have been no objections voiced by gay rights groups. Joan Garry, Executive Director of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), stated, "Any time you put a gay character in a leading role in a TV show it's historic in its own right." She said that the "smart and savvy" show "reflects the fact that lesbians and gay men are a part of the fiber of society."

Media Resources: Nando.net and Reuters - September 17, 1998


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

4/24/2014 Mississippi Governor Signs 20-Week Abortion Ban Into Law - Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed a bill into law yesterday that bans abortion 20 weeks after a woman's last menstrual period, effectively at only 18 weeks. "With the women and families of their state facing extreme poverty, unacceptable rates of maternal mortality, and skyrocketing teen pregnancy, Mississippi's elected officials have more than enough real work to do to bolster women's well-being in their state," said Nancy Northrup, CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, in a statement. . . .
 
4/23/2014 Supreme Court Upholds Michigan Affirmative Action Ban - The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a Michigan state constitutional ban on affirmative action for women and minorities in public education, employment, and contracting. The decision in Schuette v. . . .
 
4/22/2014 US Ranks 16th in 2014 Social Progress Index - The Social Progress Imperative recently released its 2014 Social Progress Index, ranking the United States in 16th place among 132 countries. Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, a Republican who led the report team, told CNN's Fareed Zakaria that he was surprised by the ranking. . . .