Following Vice President Biden praising the NBC sitcom Will & Grace for changing attitudes toward homosexuality on Sunday's Meet the Press, on Monday's Today, co-host Ann Curry made a similar declaration: "...there weren't a lot of gay role models on television....Now, there – this is, we're in the wake of Will and Grace, you know, we've seen Glee on television..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Curry made the observation while talking to openly gay Bravo network executive and talk show host Andy Cohen detailing his coming-out story in a new memoir. Noting gay characters on television, Curry wondered: "Is it any easier for people?" Cohen declared: "I think with more visibility of gay people on TV you feel like you know them. And you feel wow, maybe it's okay. So I hope so, yes."
On Sunday, Biden commented to Meet the Press host David Gregory: "I take a look at when things really begin to change, is when the social culture changes. I think Will and Grace probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody's ever done so far. And I think people fear that which is different. Now they're beginning to understand."
Here is a portion of Curry's May 7 exchange with Cohen:
CURRY: And by the way, the book is hilarious.
COHEN: Thank you.
CURRY: There are lines in there – and it's also incredibly honest.
CURRY: Because you talk about from being a very – from a very young age loving soap operas.
CURRY: But also knowing that you were gay.
CURRY: And struggling to figure out how to come out. And the hardest thing for you-
COHEN: There I am in curlers.
CURRY: What is that? What is that, by the way? Why are you wearing curlers? Do you have any idea why you're wearing curlers?
COHEN: Oh, my neighbors dressed me up – my sister and my neighbors dressed me up. Yeah.
CURRY: But you – you know, the hardest thing for you is to figure out how to talk to your mom about it.
CURRY: Because you were so, so close to her, right?
COHEN: Yes. Yeah, I think everyone's, you know, coming-out story who's gone through this process, it's incredibly personal. My, you know, mine was, too. And I share the story, a moment of hilarity in that moment was that after I told her I was gay she said, "I probably would have hated your wife anyway." Which is great. And she may have, actually. So maybe it's a good thing.
CURRY: And I'm wondering, you know, because you know, when you were coming out, there weren't a lot of gay role models on television.
CURRY: Now, there – this is, we're in the wake of Will and Grace...
CURRY: ...you know, we've seen Glee on television, is it any easier for people?
COHEN: Well, I think it's always really hard and I hope that – I think with more visibility of gay people on TV you feel like you know them. And you feel wow, maybe it's okay. So I hope so, yes.