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

7/22/2014 Louisiana Pro-Choice Community Stands Up Against Operation Rescue - Saturday, Operation Rescue/Operation Save America launched an aggressive week-long siege against reproductive health clinics and abortion care providers in southern Louisiana. The annual siege is expected to run through Saturday, July 26, but already, several dozen Operation Rescue protesters have moved these forceful assemblies to doctors' private residences, riling neighbors in the process with their megaphones, explicit and invasive signage. . . .
 
7/21/2014 Detroit Maternal Death Rate Is Triple the US Average - Women in Detroit are dying from pregnancy-related complications at about three times the US average, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. Twenty-six women died in Detroit over the period 2008-2011 as a result of pregnancy or childbirth, and Detroit has the highest rate of infant mortality among major US cities, with 13.5 infant deaths for every 1,000 live births. According to Dr. . . .
 
7/21/2014 White House: Corporations Must Inform Employees About Refusal to Cover Contraception - The White House clarified on Thursday that closely held for-profit corporations refusing to provide contraceptive coverage will be required to inform their employees. The clarification is a response to the Supreme Court's ruling in Hobby Lobby v. . . .