Is ‘Will & Grace’ offensive?

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  • #10964

    Sheila
    Member

    When I see shows like ‘Will & Grace,’ I have mixed feelings. On the one hand it’s good to see gay roles on TV, but the show seems really full of what I would consider ‘Amos and Andy’-style slurs on gay people. How do gay folks feel about this show?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Sheila, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Catholic, Age : 45, City : Syracuse, State : NY Country : United States, Occupation : Web Developer, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #34557

    Bri
    Participant

    I am a bisexual female that watches Will & Grace regularly, and I never feel offended. Perhaps its my personality, but if you can’t laugh at yourself, and with others, then it turns into hate and anger. I’d rather acknowledge the jokes they make than assume it’s a gay-hating show. Besides, when comedians make jokes about their wives, the wives just laugh along… If it’s true, then it’s better to smile and nod than get defensive!

    User Detail :  

    Name : Bri, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Bisexual, Age : 23, City : Albany, State : NY Country : United States, Occupation : Counselor/Student, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #38680

    Merideth
    Member

    As a straight person, I cannot say for sure whether gay people find the show offensive. I have quite a few friends who happen to be gay, and none has ever expressed to me that they are offended by any of the gay jokes made by the characters. The actor who plays Jack is gay himself, and he’s part of most of the gay jokes, so I would have to assume he is not offended by them. One of my gay friends is one of my two best friends, and she is not offended by the show in the least – and I’m not offended by it on her behalf, either. I think that what Will & Grace does is take the stereotypes and make fun of them, but not make fun of actual people … just make fun of what everyone thinks is ‘the typical gay person.’ I’m sure we all know that stereotypes do not represent a single person, they represent all of the quirks that various members of a larger community may have.

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    Name : Merideth, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 23, City : Malta, State : NY Country : United States, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #39494

    Ben
    Member

    Most of the gay people I know aren’t offended by Will and Grace (though it’s caused a friend of mine some problems; one of his female friends basically fell into the ‘grace’ role and started stalking him). Gay people tend to be somewhat more tolerant of stereotypical gay roles on TV than most other minority groups, at least in some contexts, for several reasons, foremost among which is that sexuality and gender tend to be somewhat linked — in other words, gay people are more likely to act effeminate than straights. Most gay people were closeted for at least a few years, during which time they repressed any feminine instincts pretty brutally, whether to hide their sexuality from others or because they themselves were ashamed of it. One hallmark of modern gay culture is openness and acceptence of femininitiy as part and parcel with an end to shame and self-loathing. Being offended at Will and Grace means being offended at the notion of not being masculine enough, and many gay people *aren’t* particularly masculine, and have learned to accept that. It also worth mentioning that often, when people aren’t used to seeing males acting in ways females often do (and vice versa) the sheer overpowering unfamiliarity can mask any other subtleties of what the person’s saying/doing. Let go of your instinctual recoil from that stuff and W&G starts to seem a lot more tolerable.

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    Name : Ben, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Bisexual, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 21, City : Ann Arbor, State : MI Country : United States, Occupation : pizza delivery, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #41622

    Karen26765
    Participant

    I’ve heard some people call it ‘the gay show for straight people’. It does stereotype gay men, but it’s also funny. At least Will, as Jack’s foil, is gay himself. In response to the other response which says that the actor who plays Jack is gay – I’m pretty sure I’ve heard him give ‘No comment’ type answers about his sexuality, and even heard that he is straight. I don’t know.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Karen26765, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Lesbian, Race : Hispanic/Latino (may be any race), Religion : Atheist, Age : 22, City : Bethesda, State : MD Country : United States, Occupation : Consultant, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #31353

    Joe
    Member

    I don’t have a problem with it, and I expect that most of my (largely bisexual) friends feel the same way. The show, IMHO, has a warmth, and it’s funny. *shrug* I can get upset about a lot of things (getting beaten up for my orientation, being told I don’t deserve equal rights), but somehow Will and Grace just doesn’t make the list, y’now?

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    Name : Joe, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Bisexual, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 42, City : San Jose, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Nature photographer, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper class, 
    #35886

    Reverend-Jack
    Participant

    I’m a gay twenty-something who has watched mass media go from nearly silent to actively accepting of homosexuals in the ten years I’ve been out. I think this is great, but I still see little non-cable television that’s actually interesting to me as a gay man. ‘Will & Grace’ is the Gay Cosby show–they’ve taken typical whitebread sitcom archetypes and made them gay, usually sidestepping any of the issues common to homosexuals, in the same way that The Cosby Show gave us a whitebread upper class black family. I don’t find it offensive, I just find it mostly irrelevant–it’s a show for straight people to get them used to gay characters on television, not gay television proper.

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    Name : Reverend-Jack, City : Urbana, State : IL Country : United States, 
    #37873

    Nicholas
    Participant

    I find Will and Grace annoying not because of the ‘gay slurs’ but because of the character choice. Will is a preppy, vanilla, ‘regular’ guy. He has been crafted to minimise offending straight people. I find it sad that the first ever mainstream gay TV lead has to be that safe. The tragedy of gay identity is that you worship the very thing that despises you… you want to fuck the rugby/football captain while he wants to beat you up (aside: Christopher Rice’s novel ‘A density of Souls’ is a wonderful fantasy on this theme, with the character Jordan Charbonnet). Will is a watered-down combination of these archetypes. Instead of exploring this inner tension, the creators of Will resolved it. What a waste of such an intriguing source of drama – and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that comedy is made of drama. That said, I’m very glad the show exists. And perhaps it was out of necessity – Perhaps it would never have made it to air had Will been a bit more adventurous: it may well have paved the way for more interesting gay roles. And who doesn’t love Karen!

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    Name : Nicholas, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 25, City : Cape Town, State : NA Country : South Africa, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #18265

    Michael
    Participant

    I think the show is funny. I do not find it offensive as a gay man. I think the real joke of it is that I consider both of them ‘bottoms,’ or in the popular analogy, ‘catchers.’ I don’t understand how they could have wound up in bed together – two bottoms don’t make a right. No offense cuz they are some crazy queens. No offense, just laughter.

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    Name : Michael, Gender : M, City : Nowheresville, State : IA Country : United States, 
    #31835

    Patrick Kellogg
    Participant

    My rule: if you’re funny enough, you can get away with *anything*. And Will & Grace at it’s best it slighty humorous. I’m more offended by the last season of Ellen where they forgot to write any jokes. or those stupid morning DJs that bully their way with anti-gay ‘humor’. But check out ‘The Opposite of Sex’ for a really funny, borderline-offensive gay movie.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Patrick Kellogg, Gender : Male, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 35, City : Denver, State : CO Country : United States, Occupation : Self-unemployed, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #25849

    I LOVE THAT SHOW, AND, NO, IT’S NOT OFFENSIVE TO ME!

    User Detail :  

    Name : SHEILA (also), Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 56, City : Independence, State : MO Country : United States, Occupation : CLERICAL, Education level : High School Diploma, Social class : Middle class, 
    #34607

    Bryant
    Participant

    I can’t understand why anyone would waste their time watching that crap.

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    Name : Bryant, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 32, City : eastern, State : WA Country : United States, Occupation : Power Plant Operator, Education level : Technical School, Social class : Middle class, 
    #30864

    Donnybrook
    Participant

    I am offended by the show constantly, but for non ‘Amos and Andy’ reasons… I’m just sick of the networks taking a somewhat edgy concept (a prime time show with 2 gay main characters), and then they try to not offend anyone, so Will and Jack’s gayness is just ‘oh Will, you love your shopping; and Jack loves his Cher’. All that homosexuality is to NBC/GE is a commodity that needs to be carefully managed to achieve the highest profit margin. Just for once, I want to see Will come out of the bedroom and say, ‘well, I won’t be sitting comfortably for a week’… that’ll never happen though, we can’t worry about offending the religious right or GLAAD; obviously the worst thing that anyone could EVER do to someone else is offend them…

    User Detail :  

    Name : Donnybrook, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Bisexual, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 20, City : Minneapolis, State : MN Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #25480

    Marcus29222
    Participant

    I think the gay jokes aren’t so bad, I mean, they’re no more mean-spirited than any straight-themed show. However, what does irk me is the lack of intimacy on the show. I’m told that there have been same-sex kisses on the show, but I’ve never seen them. I mean, look at the theme song! Will and Grace get more intimate there than Will does with anybody he’s actually interested!

    User Detail :  

    Name : Marcus29222, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Bisexual, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 18, City : Montreal, State : NA Country : Canada, Occupation : Student, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #44915

    Dina M.
    Participant

    it’s fine with me because it’s a comedy. if it was like a drama the sterotypes (which sometimes are over the top for that reason) would be wrong. some gay men do act like Jack and some like Will (I know from experience) so I view them as the polar extremes but as most people know- the middle in any group of people is normally the majority.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Dina M., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Bisexual, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : unsure, City : Chicago, State : IL Country : United States, Occupation : Poet, Education level : Less than High School Diploma, Social class : Middle class, 
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