The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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The Will & Grace Revival Isn't Just Nostalgia, It's Necessity

04 Will Grace

ABOVE: Will & Grace’s cocreators David Kohan (left) and Max Mutchnick (one gay, one straight, both married) have quietly blazed a trail for LGBT equality, even though most of the accolades go to the stars behind the characters they created.

How will Will & Grace adapt to 2017 — in an era where Hollywood has raised its standards of intersectional representation? While the cast wasn’t privy to plot details at the time, Messing said the chance to spotlight more marginalized groups was a motivating factor for her return.

“The dialogue has opened in a beautiful way, and now there’s an opportunity for us, in a way, to do it again for people who still feel unrepresented,” she said.

McCormack said they have nothing but support from NBC, in terms of being queer on television. “Any fears they would have had 20 years ago, putting a show like this on the air? Now they say, ‘Go ahead. Families will be watching. Be gay. Be gay!’”

Bob Greenblatt, the out chairman of NBC Entertainment, confirmed that he has no problem calling Will & Grace a “gay show.” This is significant. Even today, networks shy away from embracing this label due to a fear of alienating straight viewers.

[RELATED: The Advocate's Interview With Bob Greenblatt]

Mutchnick and Kohan declined to reveal any details about how race and identity might figure into the upcoming season, other than, “We are not going to go out of our way to meet a quota,” said Mutchnick. “I do feel like Rosario counts, doesn’t she?” he added, referencing the feisty Latina maid played by Shelley Morrison. (Morrison later confirmed that, sadly, she would not be returning to the show.) Kohan said the show will continue to focus on the four principal characters — who give the series a “sound” viewers associate with “a happier time” — as opposed to storylines about “the new coalitions and the new look of America.”

If indeed Will & Grace helped change hearts and minds for marriage equality in its first run, what do its creators hope it might accomplish with its second?

“Half of this country hates the other half of the country. I would love for it, if anything, to create a sense that you can be kind to one another even if you disagree,” Kohan said. Mutchnick agreed, adding how the presence of Karen, a Trump supporter, in this friendship might open dialogues and set a “great example” for others.

But at the end of the day, the cocreators and cast want Will & Grace to continue what it has always done: make audiences laugh.

“I just hope that we make them laugh so hard that they pee,” said Messing.

“I just really wish I could show you my tits right now,” smiled Mullally.


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