'sex and the city' was hella problematic

Sarah Jessica Parker admits Carrie was not exactly the most woke person in a new interview.

by André-Naquian Wheeler
15 May 2018, 5:00pm

Sex and the City was a progressive piece of television, for its time. The cosmopolitan-drinking girls introduced frank depictions of female sexuality and 30-something singledom to the mainstream. But the show hasn’t exactly aged well. There are few multidimensional characters of color on the show and gay men were largely reduced to the simplistic role of “sassy best friend.” Sarah Jessica Parker recently owned up to SATC’s failings, admitting, “There were no women of color… and there was no substantial conversation about the LGBTQ community.”

The show addressed complex topics like biphobia, interracial dating, and same-sex relationships with a woefully ignorant approach that’d probably make even Rush Limbaugh cringe. The episode where Samantha dates a black man and declares she is an “equal opportunity employer” is probably one of the most problematic episodes the world has ever seen. The same episode saw the appearance of a female black character that embodied every caricature of the “angry black woman” stereotype, Samantha eventually getting into a fist-fight with her.

There have been a lot of conversations centered on how to address the more problematic aspects of cultural gems lately. The Simpsons has come under fire for the character Apu, which many Indian-Americans feel is deeply offensive to the community. The cartoon (which has been running since 1989) responded in the most tone-deaf of ways. Lisa, who is typically our voice of reason, broke the fourth wall and said to the audience: “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?”

Sarah Jessica Parker, on the other hand, is being a little bit more sensitive to our contemporary complaints. “I think Carrie Bradshaw is very much a product of her generation and I think her conversations about sexual politics and intimacy spoke to the years,” she said. “As always, those years prior to being a young adult inform your worldview. I think that she would have a lot to say about this, and I would be curious to read [her] column if she could sit back and look at it.”

This is a step in the right direction. Sarah is acknowledging that Sex and the City does not serve as a voice for every aspirational New York singleton.

SJP went on to say she would be interested to see how Carrie would navigate today’s New York. Would she ride around town on a CitiBike? Would she be forced to live in Bushwick due to the rent being too damn high? And how would Samantha address that time she flirted with Trump? Maybe she would have more dirt on him than Stormy Daniels.

Sex and the City