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Debra Messing addresses Will & Grace criticism

By Ross Semple

Debra Messing has defended Will & Grace against criticism from within the LGBT+ community.

Messing, who played Grace on the show throughout its eight seasons, addressed criticism that the show didn’t go far enough in dealing with aspects of LGBT+ life during its run, and played to the ‘masc/fem’ stereotypes associated with gay men.

She told The Huffington Post: “I feel proud that we were able to finally represent the gay and lesbian community in mainstream media and change minds and hearts.

“Of course, we couldn’t do everything all at once,” she admitted, “but I think we pushed the ball very, very far down the field. Now, the goal post is in a different place and I think that there’s obviously more to go.”

Remarking on how society has changed since Will & Grace premiered back in 1998, Messing said that we are living in “a whole new world”, one in which “being gay and lesbian is not something that people are hiding like they did when we started almost 20 years ago.”

She also addressed the issue of greater representation of more LGBT+ identities on the show. Possibly hinting at the content of the recently announced revival of the show, Messing said: “I think that there’s an opportunity to now celebrate all the other initials of LGBTQ.

“It will be great to come out of this next round and feel like we’re normalizing an even larger segment of underrepresented people on prime-time television.”

The cast reunited last year for a ten minute sketch based on the presidential election. Debra notes that the political nature of the show will continue into the revival. “‘Will & Grace’ has always been political,” she said.

“It’s always dealt with what is happening in our culture and in our country. It’s absolutely going to be addressing in real time what’s happening.”

Megan Mullally recently dashed all of our hopes of finding a real-life Karen Walker by revealing that she is nothing like her fictional Will & Grace counterpart.

When Attitude asked her what percentage Karen Walker she is in her real life, Megan replied: “Low, thankfully.”

She added: “But doesn’t everybody have a part of them that wishes they could say whatever the fuck they wanted to without having to worry about it?”

The May issue of Attitude is out now. Buy in print, or subscribe. To buy a digital copy, visit

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