During the Saturday (July 27) panel for “Sean Saves the World” at the Television Critic’s Association 2013 summer press tour, Hayes and series executive producer Victor Fresco fielded questions from reporters on how the seminal NBC hit paved the way for their new series.
“I didn’t think it had any weight to it,” Hayes joked of his former series, before adding, “I thought it was, uh — it’s a hard question to answer. I think that, of course, it was impactful, but to say that being on it, I don’t want to sound egotistical. To remove myself from ‘Will & Grace,’ I would like to believe it had a big influence on the gay movement in America. According to Joe Biden, it did.”
When asked how the television landscape has changed for gay character since the heyday of “Will & Grace,” Hayes said, “I think, thankfully, it’s an afterthought, just like any other character of minority now — which is how it should be. It’s even sad it’s a question, really. But here we are.”
Fresco stepped in, adding his thoughts on this new era in television in terms of gay characters. “I think that show allowed shows like this to happen,” he said. “A show like this, which I think of as a ‘post-gay’ show, in that it has a gay man at the center of it, but it’s not being gay and I think without ‘Will & Grace,’ we wouldn’t be here.”
“Sean Saves the World” premieres Thursday, Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. on NBC.