Was Jack on "Will and Gace" offensive?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 10, 2016 11:11 AM GMT
    Watching a "Will and Grace" rerun a few days ago, I can't help but feel that the character of Jack was actually a really bad, neagative stereotype of a Gay male.

    Does anyone else see this or am I being overly PC?
  • mystery905

    Posts: 745

    Apr 10, 2016 11:31 AM GMT
    I wasn't offended. I found Jack to be extremely funny.

    But I know what you mean: he was the typical flaming queen.

    He is gay in real life, but I'm not sure if that's the way he really acts.

  • thadjock

    Posts: 2183

    Apr 10, 2016 11:31 AM GMT
    That show had a sweet spot somewhere in the middle of it's run. it started out a little wobbly, and it ended with a wimper but when it was good it was a very well written and produced show. Jack and Karen always stole every scene they were in. (fast forward through any Grace/any boyfriend story arcs, couldn't stand the Harry connick Jr. episodes)

    I never found Jack's character offensive, he was written to be a parody of gay stereotypes and a foil for the terminally repressed Will. And Sean Patric Hayes nailed it.

    From a broader perspective, there ARE gay guys who aren't far removed from "jack" so if you're saying Jack is a bad/negative role model then you're bashing part of the community that doesn't conform to how you want gay people to act.

    It would be great if there were a wider representation of ALL gay men on TV and media, but we're not there yet apparently. Southland had a gay cop that was one of the deepest character developements of any gay character, but I think it was ahead of it's time, and largely went unnoticed.
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    Apr 10, 2016 3:10 PM GMT
    There are more "Jacks" in the gayborhood than many of us on this site would like to admit. Nothing wrong with Jacks. You should check out Modern Family's "Cam" and "Mitch" for more gay characters.
  • Ariodante83

    Posts: 152

    Apr 10, 2016 4:17 PM GMT
    That show needed to be called Karen and Jack.
  • thadjock

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    Apr 10, 2016 4:18 PM GMT
    DOMINUS saidThere are more "Jacks" in the gayborhood than many of us on this site would like to admit. Nothing wrong with Jacks. You should check out Modern Family's "Cam" and "Mitch" for more gay characters.


    i'm not offended by cam and mitch because they're stereotypical stock hollywood "queers"

    I'm offended because the comedy they're written to deliver is so fuking lame. That show is unwatchable. and it wins awards? wtf?!?

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    Apr 10, 2016 4:19 PM GMT
    Not at all, because I thought Will's character gave a balance between the typical versus non typical gay guys.
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    Apr 10, 2016 8:04 PM GMT
    I thought he was funny, not offensive.

    but Karen was the best. God I love her.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11525

    Apr 10, 2016 8:12 PM GMT
    I found "Jack" offensive, not funny. I also found him irritating, self-absorbed, whinny and verbose.

    I frequently had the urge to bitch slap my big screen when his character was on.
  • Triggerman

    Posts: 528

    Apr 10, 2016 8:28 PM GMT
    I never watched the show. I heard about it. I am sure it helped in some way. Exposing straights to gays. It seemed a bit old when it came out. It seemed like an old comedy from the 70's. Stereotypes like Three's Company. I guess if you lived in Cleveland it was groundbreaking but I lived in Hillcrest a thriving gay community. It just seemed dated at the time. We gays ruled the community. Everyone was openly gay. Gay innuendo seemed silly.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 10, 2016 8:32 PM GMT
    rnch saidI found "Jack" offensive, not funny. I also found him irritating, self-absorbed, whinny and verbose.

    I frequently had the urge to bitch slap my big screen when his character was on.


    If he elicited such a strong emotion in you well that my friend is the definition of a good actor. If never met a gay man who was that gay and funny. I wasn't offended because I understood Jack was a stock character who actually stole the show with Karen.
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    Apr 10, 2016 9:13 PM GMT
    I think all the characters had their offensive moments. Except maybe Grace, who was mostly clueless, in a co-dependent relationship, as was Will.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11525

    Apr 10, 2016 9:17 PM GMT
    UndercoverMan said
    rnch saidI found "Jack" offensive, not funny. I also found him irritating, self-absorbed, whinny and verbose.

    I frequently had the urge to bitch slap my big screen when his character was on.


    If he elicited such a strong emotion in you well that my friend is the definition of a good actor. If never met a gay man who was that gay and funny. I wasn't offended because I understood Jack was a stock character who actually stole the show with Karen.



    I seldom found the "Jack" character "funny".

    I found the character insulting.

    He was the what uptight, ignorant, close minded str8 people THOUGHT a gay guy was supposed to be like.
  • ChicagoSteve

    Posts: 1280

    Apr 10, 2016 9:26 PM GMT
    rnch saidI found "Jack" offensive, not funny. I also found him irritating, self-absorbed, whinny and verbose.

    I frequently had the urge to bitch slap my big screen when his character was on.


    I agree, I didn't like the character. Too flaming, playing right into straight expectations of what gay men are really like. I guarantee, if you asked someone about the show and the gay characters, it's Jack they would remember, not Will.
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    Apr 10, 2016 9:39 PM GMT
    FloridaRugbyBear said
    ...I can't help but feel that the character of Jack was actually a really bad, negative stereotype of a Gay male.

    Does anyone else see this or am I being overly PC?

    Not being overly PC. Jack was an offensive stereotype. Lots of funny lines, but at what cost to the gay image?

    I've known plenty of flamboyant gays, but never met a "Jack" yet. Yeah, a problem when we're being played mostly for offensive laughs.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11525

    Apr 10, 2016 10:10 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said... Jack was an offensive stereotype. Lots of funny lines, but at what cost to the gay image?

    I've known plenty of flamboyant gays, but never met a "Jack" yet. Yeah, a problem when we're being played mostly for offensive laughs.





    Agree icon_exclaim.gif
  • Apparition

    Posts: 3534

    Apr 10, 2016 10:12 PM GMT
    ChicagoSteve said
    rnch saidI found "Jack" offensive, not funny. I also found him irritating, self-absorbed, whinny and verbose.

    I frequently had the urge to bitch slap my big screen when his character was on.


    I agree, I didn't like the character. Too flaming, playing right into straight expectations of what gay men are really like. I guarantee, if you asked someone about the show and the gay characters, it's Jack they would remember, not Will.


    i dont remember will ever being gay.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 11, 2016 9:55 PM GMT
    Offensive? No.

    Annoying? Fuck yes. I couldn't stand him and never found him all that funny.
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    Apr 11, 2016 10:06 PM GMT
    I think the show and its characters, particularly Jack, helped ease along support for gay rights amongst straight audiences by portraying them in a such a non-threatening way.

    Was Jack over the top? Sure, but then again most of truly interesting characters on successful comedies are over the top. Think Archie Bunker right through to Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory.
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    Apr 11, 2016 11:45 PM GMT
    Jack was meant to be a caricature of the stereotype. He needed to be every bit as flaming as he was to serve as a counterpoint to Will's non-flaming portrayal of a gay man.

    Will had to be just as homosexual, but also a successful professional to Jack's out-of-work actor. Jack had to be oversexed to contrast with Will's lack of promiscuity.

    I got offended, really, when they turned Will more and more into a vain, hair and image focused, OCD riddled, neurotic. They made him a different sterotype and THAT offended me.

    Jack was just comic releif.
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    Apr 12, 2016 12:03 AM GMT
    JonSpringon saidJack was meant to be a caricature of the stereotype. He needed to be every bit as flaming as he was to serve as a counterpoint to Will's non-flaming portrayal of a gay man.

    Will had to be just as homosexual, but also a successful professional to Jack's out-of-work actor. Jack had to be oversexed to contrast with Will's lack of promiscuity.

    I got offended, really, when they turned Will more and more into a vain, hair and image focused, OCD riddled, neurotic. They made him a different sterotype and THAT offended me.

    Jack was just comic relief.

    Some valid points. I'm sure the show's producers and writers envisioned Jack as a comic counterpoint to Will, and a balance against the equally eccentric Karen. And of course their goal was to win ratings at any cost, whereas creating a positive & realistic gay image was not very high on their agenda.

    Jack's buffoonery did reflect badly on the gay community. Millions of US viewers who knew little about gays took Jack at face value. We gays knew how over the top, unrealistic and clownish he was, but did Middle America?

    So that while I did find Jack's antics funny at times, to answer the OP question - yes, I did think that overall the Jack character was offensive, and detrimental to gay image & interests.

  • Apr 12, 2016 12:13 AM GMT
    sometimes he was annoying but mostly he was really funny icon_lol.gif
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    Apr 12, 2016 12:53 PM GMT
    I don't think the type of people you guys are imagining as "Middle America" would have been the type of people to watch the show anyway so I doubt the character "Jack" would have any real impact on them one way or the other.
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    Apr 12, 2016 5:31 PM GMT
    According to Wikipedia the show received the highest Nielsen ratings for sit-coms among adults 18-49 between 18-49. I'm pretty sure it didn't hit those numbers without Middle America watching too.
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    Apr 12, 2016 5:57 PM GMT
    jackedgamer saidOffensive? No.

    Annoying? Fuck yes. I couldn't stand him and never found him all that funny.


    This ^^… he was always a whiney bitch. I loved Karen though…