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October 18th, 2013
07:37 PM ET

Debra Messing and Eric McCormack reflect on the impact of "Will & Grace"

If you were a fan of Must See TV in the late 1990s, you were undoubtedly familiar with NBC’s groundbreaking sitcom, Will & Grace, which featured, for the first time on primetime TV, two openly gay lead characters. With 16 Emmy Awards under its belt, this highly rated and critical acclaimed show paved the way for many more trailblazing shows to follow, and lives on in its new home on WeTV and LOGO TV, starting this Fall.

Piers Morgan welcomed the two stars of the show, Will McCormack & Debra Messing, to his studio for a nostalgic look back at this culturally important series.

In an interview which was seen as the first public endorsement of same sex marriage by a member of the administration, Morgan cited Vice President Joe Biden, on NBC’s Meet the Press, who said “I think “Will & Grace" did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody has ever done so far.”

Piers asked both guests what they made of that incredible tribute, which eventually led to the President openly endorsing gay marriage as well:

“I started to cry,” said Messing. “I mean I think it was like the proudest moment of my life besides the birth of my son.”

McCormack added “it was a gradual thing because we never wanted to take that kind of credit during the show ... We just wanted to be a funny show and - not take ourselves too seriously. But it's nice to know that - that - that we planted some seeds.”

McCormack, who was a straight actor playing a gay character, talked about the feedback he received portraying Will Truman, who was sometimes seen as either too stereotypical and one-dimensional, or not representative of the gay lifestyle at all.

“There was a lot of criticism early on ... about my character, that perhaps he wasn't gay enough, that he was neutered or safe for America,” said McCormack.

“But we were saying today that the idea that instead of running around and sleeping with a lot of guys, that he was actually just looking for one man to love, it turns out, is a much more dangerous idea to Americans and much more subversive than we realized.”

Watch the full clip, and join Piers Morgan Live at 9 for the full, engaging interview.
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