Will & Grace actress Megan Mullally says ‘gay-bashing was built into scripts’
Will & Grace actress Megan Mullally has explained how the iconic show managed to “slip in under the radar” on gay representation, but also why stereotypes may have helped “gay-bashing.”
Speaking to Huffington Post, Mullallay, who portrayed Karen Walker in the series, addressed the criticism that the show “peddled in stereotypes.”
She said: “You can’t please all of the people all of the time,” adding at the time the show aired “there were no other shows on network television who had a gay lead character.”
However, she admitted the show often slipped its progressive stance “under the radar.”
“The gay-bashing was kind of built in to the scripts, so that if you’re so inclined, your work was done for you,” she added.
She also discussed Ellen Degeneres’ coming out at the time on her own sitcom, which she said “paved the way” for shows like Will & Grace.
“Because [Ellen’s] show was already established and she had established her character as sort of this blonde, blue-eyed girl-next-door, when she came out, then the next episode just couldn’t be, like, crazy adventures at the bowling alley,” she said.
“They had to keep addressing the subject of her being gay, so it became slightly politicised.”
Will & Grace last aired in 2006. At the time, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) president Neil Giuliano hailed its “unprecedented visibility to gay, lesbian and bisexual people.”