7 of the most awful moments from Sex and the City that all fans will want to forget

Narjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Monday 11 January 2021 09:36
Showbiz
Picture:(Sex and the City )

News that Sex and the City is coming back for a reboot has sparked heated debate among fans and detractors of the series, which aired what we all thought was its final episode in 2004.

The subsequent two movies were widely panned by critics, but rumours of a revival have been swirling for years.

Yesterday, three of the four stars of the show dropped a trailer for And Just Like That… a new series which promises to follow the stories of Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte. Much to fans’ disappointment, Samantha – played by Kim Cattrall – will be absent.

While for many the show holds a special nostalgic place in their hearts, it’s impossible to think SATC and not think about the clumsy way the show dealt with a number of issues.

Here are a few particularly awkward episodes about race, slut shaming and anti-trans language.

1. The one where Carrie, the sex columnist, doesn’t think ‘bisexuality even exists’.

In the episode entitled ‘Boy, Girl, Boy, Girl', viewers are introduced to Carrie’s latest boyfriend, Sean.

He’s younger than she is, and he’s openly bisexual. What ensues is the trio’s two-dimensional debates around whether or not gender is a dying concept.

Most problematic bit of the episode? The following sentence, delivered by Ms Bradshaw herself:

I’m not even sure bisexuality exists. I think it’s just a layover on the way to Gaytown.

Yikes.

2. Samantha’s casually derogatory language towards transgender people.

In season three, episode nine, Samantha gets into an argument with a group of trans sex workers who are working outside her apartment.

Samantha says:

I am paying a fortune to live in a neighbourhood that’s trendy by day and tranny by night.

We’re not sure what’s worse, the casual use of the derogatory derivative ‘tranny’, or the fact that she’s implying living around trans people is a bad thing.

3. The fact that Carrie can afford an apartment in New York and go on regular $10,000-plus fashion splurges on a column-a-week salary.

Lying to budding journalists everywhere.

4. Casual slut-shaming.

Despite the fact that there are four sexually free, financially successful (for the most part) women portrayed in the series, a surprising amount of slut shaming goes down.

Samantha was often side-eyed by Carrie and/or Charlotte while she regaled with stories of sexual exploits.

In one episode, Carrie walked in on Samantha and her postman in a sexually compromising scene, and she spent the rest of the episode judging her friend.

Bradshaw even penned a column called Are We Simply Romantically Challenged Or Are We Sluts?

5. Dehumanising 'attractive' women.

In the first season’s second episode, aptly titled ‘Models and Mortals’, the women lament the lack of suitable men to date in New York City – and blame it on models.

Carrie, in her ever-growing wisdom, says:

Modelizers are obsessed not with women, but with models who in most cities are safely confined to billboards and magazines.

But in Manhattan, actually run wild on the streets turning the city into a virtual model country safari where men can pet the creatures in their natural habitat. 

6. It’s so very, very white.

New York City, which is where the show is principally set, is a wonderful maelstrom of cultural and racial identities. In fact, according to statistics from between the year 2000 and 2010, people of Asian descent where the fastest growing demographic.

The city is 44.6 per cent White, 25.1 per cent Black, 11.8 per cent Asians and 27.5 per cent Hispanic.

And yet our four protagonists are white. The vast majority of their romantic entanglements are also white (unless there’s a stereotype to be exploited, more on that later). Their interactions are largely with white Americans.

Bustle writer Chelsea Fagan noticed something else…

There was a revolving door of 'help' – drivers, maids, nannies, manicurists, cooks – who floated in and out of the women's lives and proved that it may have been a show for female empowerment, but it was only a very specific kind of woman who benefited from it.

I know we've all mentally blocked it, but can we think back to the guy Samantha dated who had the live-in, ambiguously Asian maid/cook?

7. Fetishising of black men.

In what is probably in the top three most awkward episodes of Sex and the City, in No Ifs, Ands or Butts Samantha begins dating an ‘African-American’ record executive, ‘Chivon’. Cue all of the stereotypes.

During a fight with her date’s sister (who is depicted as an angry black woman) she tells Samantha to get her 'white p***y' away from her brother, Samantha responds with ‘get your big black ass out of my face’.

In a separate scene, Samantha tells her friends he has a ‘big black c**k’, and later Samantha utters those fateful words of white privilege: she ‘doesn’t see colour’.

It’s a hot mess, really. Let’s just hope the new version does better.

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