Cynthia Nixon Reflects On What Sex & The City Got Wrong

“Sex and the City” star, Cynthia Nixon has a new film entitled “Stray Dolls” that recently made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film is a dark drama about human trafficking, and it’s creating quite a buzz as it marks Cynthia’s return to acting. Not that she ever quit, but she took a bit of a hiatus to pursue a political aspiration – the Governor’s race of New York.

Nixon lost that election but established herself as a formidable political force to be reckoned with, one who is both a feminist and out, proud lesbian. Now that the campaign is over, she’s fo cusing on promoting her new theatrical work through a series of interviews, but not without sharing her strong political positions on a host of topics, including a critical look back on the iconic HBO series, Sex and the City.

 

The show was a huge hit show of course, massively popular with women and gay men around the world – all who seemed to personally identify with at least one individual character in the show, if not all four. It was a fantasy of sorts about four “white, moneyed ladies,” as Nixon expressed to Indie Wire. She draws the racial clarification as part of her response when asked in a Q&A how she thought the show might be made differently today in 2019?

Sex and the City – Photo: HBO

Though the outspoken actress has never been one to bite her tongue, her public commentaries were more measured during her New York City Gubernatorial bid against incumbent Andrew Cuomo. She revels now in sharing her unfiltered, honest opinions without fear of fallout from a political race.

“Well, I certainly think we would not have all been white, God forbid,” she said. “One of the hardest things for me — it was at the time, too — is looking back and seeing how much of it centered around money, right? And how, Steve, my [character’s] husband, was like the closest we got to a working-class guy, you know? Never mind a working-class woman, right?”

I was a big fan of the show, and it was an exciting time to also live in New York City because we would often see the cast filming all over town and especially in Chelsea, the West Village, and The Meat Packing district – three popular neighborhoods with strong LGBTQ presence. That said, I do recall at times feeling that the show depicted Manhattan as far less diverse than it was.

Sex and the city – Blu Ray DVD Cover

Where were the Asians, blacks and Latinos? There were guest appearances with some ‘flava’ here and there, like when Samantha thought she might be a lesbian after getting seduced by an artist played by Brazilian actress, Sonia Braga. And then there was the time when sexy Blair Underwood gave Miranda – played by Cynthia Nixon, her first interracial romance. Other than that, the main characters did not interact much with different ethnicities.

It’s Nixon’s self-realization as a feminist that fuels her reflection of the show that made her a bonafide TV star. While she embraces the show and is proud of what she and her castmates created, she acknowledges that the series was a bit schizophrenic. On the one hand, it was a show about empowered women – that was the feminist angle, however, in a city like New York it was quite contrived when those white women rarely congregated with nonwhite people.

Blair Underwood & Cynthia Nixon/ HBO’s Sex and The City

“There was so much debate when [‘Sex and the City’] came out about whether it was a feminist show or not, which I always thought was stupid — of course, it’s a feminist show. But I think it has a lot of the failings of the feminist movement in it. In that, it’s like white, moneyed ladies who are fighting for their empowerment. In a bit of a bubble.”

Despite Cynthia’s look back, Sex And the City fans are loyal, still, and will always love the show. I am forever one of those fans too. I watch the re-runs whenever I can on syndicated networks, even with all those humorous voice-overs to make them family friendly. I recently saw an episode where Samatha vulgarly referenced her anatomy with the word “p*ssy,” but in a bad overdub, the word was replaced with “pancakes!”

In any event, Sex and the City was a real blast, and it did capture the authentic, fun energy of the 90s in New York City. During the show’s heyday, it was a pretty commonly asked question amid its fans: “Which one are you, Carrie, Samantha, Miranda or Charlotte?”

Which “SATC Character Are You?” from Buzzfeed

I like to think that I’m a little mix of all of them – that perfect balance of being intellectual, prissy, witty and a tramp – wearing $2000 shoes I can’t afford, in a New York City apartment I can’t afford, while sipping on a perfectly-chilled cosmo, as a hot man named ‘Mister Big’ follows me around everywhere I go.

Sure, it could happen — anything is possible in New York.

2 thoughts on “Cynthia Nixon Reflects On What Sex & The City Got Wrong”

  1. People tend to self segregate based off of race/gender/wealth whether it be intentional or not. Even in diverse cities like New York. So its not too shocking that rich white women would only befriend other rich white women. If anything that was the most believable thing about the show lol

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