NBC's Curry Channels Biden: 'Will & Grace' and 'Glee' Provide 'Gay Role Models'

Following Vice President Biden praising the NBC sitcom Will & Grace for changing attitudes toward homosexuality on Sunday's Meet the Press, on Monday's Today, co-host Ann Curry made a similar declaration: "...there weren't a lot of gay role models on television....Now, there – this is, we're in the wake of Will and Grace, you know, we've seen Glee on television..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Curry made the observation while talking to openly gay Bravo network executive and talk show host Andy Cohen detailing his coming-out story in a new memoir. Noting gay characters on television, Curry wondered: "Is it any easier for people?" Cohen declared: "I think with more visibility of gay people on TV you feel like you know them. And you feel wow, maybe it's okay. So I hope so, yes."

On Sunday, Biden commented to Meet the Press host David Gregory: "I take a look at when things really begin to change, is when the social culture changes. I think Will and Grace probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody's ever done so far. And I think people fear that which is different. Now they're beginning to understand."


Here is a portion of Curry's May 7 exchange with Cohen:

8:48AM ET        

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CURRY: And by the way, the book is hilarious.

COHEN: Thank you.

CURRY: There are lines in there – and it's also incredibly honest.

COHEN: Yes.

CURRY: Because you talk about from being a very – from a very young age loving soap operas.

COHEN: Yes.

CURRY: But also knowing that you were gay.

COHEN: Yes.

CURRY: And struggling to figure out how to come out. And the hardest thing for you-

COHEN: There I am in curlers.

CURRY: What is that? What is that, by the way? Why are you wearing curlers? Do you have any idea why you're wearing curlers?

COHEN: Oh, my neighbors dressed me up – my sister and my neighbors dressed me up. Yeah.

CURRY: But you – you know, the hardest thing for you is to figure out how to talk to your mom about it.

COHEN: Yes.

CURRY: Because you were so, so close to her, right?

COHEN: Yes. Yeah, I think everyone's, you know, coming-out story who's gone through this process, it's incredibly personal. My, you know, mine was, too. And I share the story, a moment of hilarity in that moment was that after I told her I was gay she said, "I probably would have hated your wife anyway." Which is great. And she may have, actually. So maybe it's a good thing.

CURRY: And I'm wondering, you know, because you know, when you were coming out, there weren't a lot of gay role models on television.

COHEN: Yes.

CURRY: Now, there – this is, we're in the wake of Will and Grace...

COHEN: Yup.

CURRY: ...you know, we've seen Glee on television, is it any easier for people?

COHEN: Well, I think it's always really hard and I hope that – I think with more visibility of gay people on TV you feel like you know them. And you feel wow, maybe it's okay. So I hope so, yes.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC