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This Banned 'Will & Grace' Episode Made The Show Lose Sponsors

This Banned 'Will & Grace' Episode Made The Show Lose Sponsors

Will & Grace
NBC

Who knew one episode of Will & Grace could cause such controversy?

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The world wasn’t ready for this much gayness in 1999.

Erick McCormack, who played Will Truman on Will & Grace, spilled some very interesting tea at The Magic of Will & Grace panel in New York City, which took place earlier this week. As reported by People, the actor recalled one particular episode that was banned from any reruns.

The episode in question was titled “Will Works Out,” where Sean Hayes’ character, Jack, joined Will for a workout session. “[The character of Jack] was being particularly gay,” McCormack explained. “And [my character] called him the f-word. They didn’t repeat that episode.” He added, “That’s the one episode that’s never ever been ever aired again.”

“It’s the only episode where we lost sponsors, so we did take that issue on,” McCormack noted. “But that issue, particularly, was within the gay community. There are levels and there were feelings, and we dared to sort of show them.”

Though the f-word has been reappropriated by many people in the LGBTQ+ community in recent years, there was indeed a huge taboo surrounding the usage of the word in the 1990s and 2000s. Even in 2023, there are still many queer people who don’t feel comfortable using or hearing the word in any capacity.

Later in the panel, McCormack brought up another controversial scene from Will & Grace: the infamous kissing scene between the two titular characters at the end of the pilot episode. The actor remarked, “They kiss at the end of the pilot. And Grace says to Will, ‘Anything? Anything?’ That would never, ever fly today.”

NBC rebooted Will & Grace in 2017, and it was a pretty big success for the network. Against all odds, the reboot actually ran for three seasons and featured several noteworthy appearances from OG characters and fresh new faces.

There’s no denying how important Will & Grace was for a lot of LGBTQ+ people who didn’t see themselves anywhere in mainstream media in the 1990s and 2000s. And, for that, this series should definitely be celebrated!

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Bernardo Sim

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Bernardo Sim experiences and explains queer multiverses. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains queer multiverses. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.