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Sarah Jessica Parker: Sex and the City is "tone-deaf" and couldn't be made today

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Anna Brech
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Sex and the City’s glaring lack of diversity is a major problem in one of TV’s most iconic shows - and one that its star, Sarah Jessica Parker, is happy to call out…

It’s one of *the* seminal TV shows of the late nineties and early noughties, lauded for its free-handed depiction of sex and female friendship.

But as much as Sex and the City created a blueprint for the sexual liberation of women (yes we enjoy sex! All kinds! And we talk about it freely!), one of pop culture’s most iconic offerings does not hold up well to modern-day scrutiny. 

Casual transphobia is just one issue put to rights by the ingenious Woke Charlotte meme recently, but the TV series also has a serious problem with cultural representation. 

For a city as diverse as New York, the HBO hit somehow refused to imagine a world beyond that of four wealthy white women and their mostly wealthy white love interests. 

And now Sarah Jessica Parker herself has acknowledged that the TV series is “tone-deaf” and couldn’t be made today.

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Sarah Jessica Parker: it would be “bizarre” to make SATC today

Speaking at the Deauville Film Festival in France this week, Parker said of SATC: “You couldn’t make it today because of the lack of diversity on screen. I personally think it would feel bizarre.”

Carrie Bradshaw’s alter ego also cast doubt on the idea of a SATC reboot starring a different cast of characters.

“I don’t know that you could do it with a different cast,” she said (via Hollywood Reporter). “I think that’s radical and interesting, but you can’t pretend it’s the same.

“If you came back and did six episodes, you’d have to acknowledge the city is not hospitable to those same ideas,” she added. “You’d look like you were generationally removed from reality, but it would be certainly interesting to see four diverse women experiencing NYC their way… it would be interesting and very worthwhile exploring, but it couldn’t be the same.”

In May, a “Diversity Watch” viewing marathon undertaken by the website Jezebel over the 20th anniversary of SATC first airing found that there were just two non-white characters who lasted more than one episode across all 94 programmes (Dr. Robert Leeds and Maria).

Speaking at another event earlier this year, Parker gave a nod to the show’s flaws, saying: “there were no women of colour … and there was no substantial conversation about the LGBTQ community.”

Images: Getty, Rex Features

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for stylist.co.uk. Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.

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