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‘Sex And The City’ Creator Laments Show’s Lack Of Diversity

By  Paul Bois
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Creator/Executive producer Darren Star attends the PaleyFest New York 2016 screening of 'Younger' at The Paley Center for Media on October 10, 2016 in New York City.
(Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)

Even though “Sex and the City” instilled the values of carefree, loveless sex into a whole generation of women, the show’s creator has one regret: not ensuring more diversity.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter (THR) in Cannes recently, Darren Star said, in retrospect, he should have included more minority characters.

“That’s the one thing I probably would have liked to have done differently,” said Star. “Hopefully it transcended that, but looking back, wow, that would have been another way to make it feel more groundbreaking.”

“The show is very much a product of its time and I think the show is a time capsule. You can only think about shows as representing the time that they are being made,” he continued. “TV has evolved in being much more inclusive, and I think that people do now think about series that way.”

In the same interview, Star expressed feeling quite drawn to stories about female characters due to their openness. “I feel like they’re emotionally very open, they’re very expressive, they’re funny. I just think of the female characters as people,” he said. “If you put men in the same situation you just wouldn’t be able to tell the same kinds of stories.”

Though “Sex and the City” has a loyal fanbase, as THR noted, the show has indeed faced criticism for a lack of diversity. The show’s star, Sarah Jessica Parker, even said that the show looks “tone-deaf” 20 years later.

“You couldn’t make it today because of the lack of diversity on screen,” she said in 2018. “I personally think it would feel bizarre.”

“I don’t know that you could do it with a different cast,” she said of a possible reboot. “I think that’s radical and interesting, but you can’t pretend it’s the same. It wouldn’t be a reboot as I understand it. If you came back and did six episodes, you’d have to acknowledge the city is not hospitable to those same ideas. 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.”

“Sex and the City” also made headlines recently when the original author, Candace Bushnell (upon whom the character of Carrie Bradshaw was based), admitted that she regrets not having kids.

“When I was in my 30s and 40s, I didn’t think about it,” Bushnell said earlier this year. “Then when I got divorced and I was in my 50s, I started to see the impact of not having children and of truly being alone. I do see that people with children have an anchor in a way that people who have no kids don’t.”

Bushnell and her husband, ballet dancer Charles Askegard, divorced in 2012 after 10 years of marriage – which she said caused her to go without sex for five years. “It’s not that long when you get to my age. I know women who have gone longer,” she said.

Bushnell’s latest book already has a television deal on the table and will focus on a group of single, middle-aged women from New York City who move to the Hamptons in order to start anew. Similarly autobiographical like “Sex and the City,” the novel was inspired by her own experience as a childless, single woman in her 50s.

“We’re all single women without children. And you think about, what are you going to do when you get old?” she said. “If you don’t have kids, you realize, ‘Who is going to take care of me?’ Your girlfriends.”

“It was a weird, great communal living where your best friends who are like your family are right across the street and you can run and see them any time and you’re there for each other,” Bushnell said. “We live within walking or biking distance [of each other]. We get together usually for Sunday brunch. And sometimes we have a paddle-boarding lunch.”

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