Will & Grace star Eric McCormack says he wouldn’t get cast in 2018
Will & Grace star Eric McCormack has said he doesn’t think he’d get the role if the show was starting now.
McCormack, who is straight in real life, was cast as Will in the gay NBC sitcom in 1998.
The star played the role for eight years, and reprised it in 2017 when the show landed a surprise revival.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, McCormack said he likely wouldn’t get a similar role in 2018.
“I’m glad that nowadays a Will Truman would probably be cast with someone who is gay.”
— Eric McCormack
The actor said: “I think it wasn’t a terrible thing in 1998 that a straight guy played the role, but I’m glad that times are changing, and I’m glad that nowadays a Will Truman would probably be cast with someone who is gay.
“But does that mean that now when you walk into a casting room you have to state whether you are straight or gay? I don’t know.”
The comments come after straight comedian Jack Whitehall faced a backlash for playing a gay character in Disney’s upcoming Jungle Cruise movie.
McCormack added: “The show has given me a chance to give back.
“I get to be the straight-guy ambassador to the rest of the world for a community that has been shouting for a long time to be heard and to be recognised.”
Will & Grace star Eric McCormack straight in real life
Although he plays gay on-screen, McCormack has been married to wife Janet Holden since 1997. The couple have one child.
Ironically, Doctor Who star John Barrowman was initially up for the role of Will, but was told he was “too straight” for the part.
Speaking to the Metro in 2006, Barrowman revealed: “They said I was too straight to play the part. That was supposing that all gay men act in the same way, which isn’t true anyway. I was just being myself.”
Barrowman, who is married to husband Scott Gill, is currently appearing on I’m a Celebrity 2018.
Will & Grace’s Debra Messing called out TV network over Trump ad
McCormack has long been a supporter of LGBT+ rights, though he is less vocal than outspoken Will & Grace co-star Debra Messing.
Earlier this month, Messing called out the show’s TV network, NBC, after it aired an ad from President Donald Trump attacking immigration ahead of the midterm elections.
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The Trump ad was banned by TV networks including CNN and Fox News over its factual inaccuracies and racially-motivated content, but NBC initially opted to allow it to air.
She wrote: “To our Will and Grace fans—I want you to know that I am ashamed that my network aired this disgusting racist ad.
“It is the antithesis of everything I personally believe in, and what, I believe, our show is all about.”
NBC later pulled the ad after the backlash.
A statement said: “After further review we recognise the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible.”