Not ruffling any feathers. Willie Garson chose not to reveal that he was straight while playing a gay character on Sex and the City because he didn’t want to send the wrong message.
The 56-year-old actor — who portrayed Carrie’s (Sarah Jessica Parker) friend Stanford Blatch —opened up about his decision during an interview with Page Six on Thursday, October 22.
“For years I didn’t talk about it because I found it to be offensive to gay people,” Garson told the outlet. “People playing gay characters jumping up and down screaming that they’re not gay, like that would somehow be a bad thing if they were.”
The New Jersey native explained that he had to come up with a practical answer when people interviewed him about his sexuality.
“When the question would come up during the show I would say, ‘When I was on White Collar no one ever asked me if I was a conman, and when I was on NYPD Blue, nobody ever asked me if I was a murderer. This is what we do for a living, portray people,’” he said.
Garson added that playing a gay character made his dating life difficult at the time. “At the beginning, you would approach someone at a bar and realize, ‘Oh, they want to be Stanford’s best friend.’ They don’t necessarily want to sleep with you,” he said.
The White Collar alum’s on-screen chemistry with Parker, 55, was cultivated before the duo began filming. Garson told Out Magazine in 2000 that he and the Hocus Pocus star went on a blind date before the show.
“I’ve known Sarah for 15 years — we were set up once, had a very long flirtation, and then just settled into being best friends, something I think really reads on the show,” he said at the time.
Kim Cattrall (Samantha Jones), Cynthia Nixon (Miranda Hobbes), Kristin Davis (Charlotte York) and Parker starred on the popular HBO series, which ran for six seasons from 1998 to 2004. The cast returned for the Sex and the City movie in 2008 followed by the sequel in 2010.
Parker told Entertainment Weekly in September 2019 that she would be “curious” to see a Sex and the City reboot.
“I mean, the world has changed so much, technology and social media,” she said at the time. “Those characters never talked about social media, which I think would be really interesting and just also sexual politics and the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up has really steered conversations about sexual politics.”
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