The “Will & Grace” cast and crew aren’t afraid of offending audiences — or President Donald Trump — with the NBC comedy’s anticipated revival, which held its first-ever screening at the inaugural Tribeca TV Festival in New York City on Saturday.
When asked what his response would be if the president called him “a son of a b—” for the revival’s anti-Trump jabs, co-creator David Kohan responded: “I would rather be a son of a b— than the son of someone who was arrested at a KKK rally.”
Eric McCormack — who joined Kohan, co-creator Max Mutchnick, and stars Megan Mullally, Sean Hayes and Debra Messing during the post-screening panel — shared a same nonchalance for audiences who may take offense to the show’s often political jokes.
“We’re going to be as progressive and offensive as we can be,” McCormack said on the red carpet before the screening. “If we don’t offend somebody with every show, we’re probably getting a little safe.”
For Messing, political commentary is “built in the DNA” of “Will & Grace,” which is why she was excited to see the show — which was revered in its original run for normalizing gay relationships on television — expand its representation of the queer community in the revival.
“Back then, we had LGB. We stopped at B,” Messing said. “Now, 11 years later, the conversation has expanded. There’s T, A, I, and gender fluidity and there’s all these things that are finally being celebrated in our culture. The thing we all committed to one another was that we were going to be the show we always were. We’re going to talk about what’s happening now.”
And though the cast and crew admitted that they weren’t aware of the show’s social impact when it premiered in 1998, they all agreed that they understand the impact of it now. “We were very privileged to be on a show that made people laugh, but also made people think,” Messing said.
“Will & Grace” returns Thursday, Sept. 28 on NBC.