Will & Grace star Debra Messing says she regrets appearing on Monday’s episode of the TODAY show with host Megyn Kelly.
Responding to a fan on Instagram who asked about Messing and the Will & Grace cast’s interview with Kelly, the actress wrote, “Honestly I didn’t know it was [Kelly] until that morning. The itinerary just said Today Show appearance. Regret going on. Dismayed by her comments.”
On Monday, while interviewing Messing and costars Will McCormack, Megan Mullally, and Sean Hayes, Kelly invited a superfan of the NBC sitcom to meet his onscreen idols. “Is it true that you became a lawyer — and you became gay — because of Will?” Kelly joked. She later added, “I think the Will & Grace thing and the gay thing is going to work out great!” The attempts at humor were quickly denounced on social media.
According to PEOPLE, an “insider” with knowledge of the TODAY show said it was obvious Kelly was making a joke that the superfan took as such. “It became even clearer when she spent much of the interview asking the show’s creators how proud they were of the positive social impact of Will & Grace and the progress it brought about for gay rights.”
To that point, Kelly’s segment with the Will & Grace cast did touch on the cultural impact the NBC sitcom had when it premiered. The host cited former Vice President Joe Biden who said “no other show had as much effect, as calling people’s attention to gay rights.”
“It was surprising and incredibly gratifying,” co-creator David Kohan said in response to Kelly on Monday. “We never set out — there was nothing — we were not an ideological thing. We were not set out to posit ideas into the zeitgeist. We were trying to do a show with four characters and trying to be funny. It was very satisfying. It gave a sense of something else was accomplished here.”
Will & Grace returns to NBC this week.