When Sex and the City turned 20-years-old in June, fans and pop culture commentators celebrated its groundbreaking portrayal of four strong, confident and (mostly) sex-positive women. They also criticized the iconic show for its lack of diversity and offensive plot lines, pointing out that SATC has not aged as gracefully as its cast.
In 2018, it's impossible not to be disappointed by the series's glaring lack of diversity – especially considering it's set in one of the world's most multicultural enclaves, New York City.
"It was a show that was simultaneously progressive and regressive, where people of color were either stereotypes or punchlines," Refinery29's Hunter Harris wrote as the show's 20th anniversary approached.
Sex and the City's overwhelming whiteness hasn't escaped the attention of star Sarah Jessica Parker, who acknowledged this week that the show now looks "tone-deaf."
"You couldn't make it today because of the lack of diversity on screen," the actress told The Hollywood Reporter at the Deauville Film Festival in France. "I personally think it would feel bizarre."
When asked about the possibility of rebooting the series with a more diverse cast, Parker wasn't optimistic, saying, "I don't know that you could do it with a different cast. 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," she continued. "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."
Luckily, we don't need to reboot SATC to accomplish that goal. Black-helmed shows like Insecure are showing sex positive, female friendships with women of color at the center. Insecure has positioned itself as SATC for a new generation, revolving around four female friends with very different sex lives and fashion senses. It's even spawned quizzes to tell whether you're an Issa or a Kelli, the same way personality types were defined by being a Carrie or a Miranda in the early aughts.
In 2018, Sex and the City also feels problematic because of its mistreatment of the LGBTQ community, including transphobic language and bi erasure. Parker doesn't need the Woke Charlotte meme to wake her up to this reality. In the interview, Parker reminded us that feminist movements like #MeToo have to include the LGBTQ community.
If Sex And The City is one of you're all time faves, that's OK. But take a look back on the show's most cringe-worthy moments while you're celebrating.