‘Sex and the City’ Creator Candace Bushnell Admitted the Series Was ‘Not Very Feminist’

Sex and the City was based on Candace Bushnell’s book of the same title. Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) was loosely based on Bushnell. As the sex advice columnist, Carrie was the voice and narrator of the show. Now that HBO Max is bringing the gang back for And Just Like That…, Bushnell is calling out the show for its lack of feminism.

Sex and the City: Chris Noth and Sarah Jessica Parker stand on the street
Chris Noth and Sarah Jessica Parker | Mitchell Gerber/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Bushnell spoke with the New York Post recently about her new one woman show, Is There Still Sex in the City. With the inevitable questions about Sex and the City and And Just Like That…, Bushnell sounded off on one criticism of the show.

Criticism of ‘Sex and the City’

First off, Sex and the City was groundbreaking. When the show began in 1998, it was not the first show headlined by women. But, its success paved the way for many more female-led shows including blatant knockoffs and genuine breakthroughs. Airing on HBO, Sex and the City could portray an explicit, real look at dating in the ’90s and early ’00s.

However, Sex and the City earned its fair share of legitimate criticism. The fact that it starred four White women and had few supporting characters of color was at best a product of the ’90s. At worst it was endemic of the systemic problems with which the industry still deals. Casting Jennifer Hudson in the first Sex and the City movie was one effort to balance the cast.

And Just Like That trio walks down the street
L-R: Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kristen Davis | HBO Max

Sex and the City also highlighted the highest fashions. As such, it was a very expensive show, in terms of the lifestyles the characters led. Episodes were devoted to Carrie’s $400 shoes and to her attire. That didn’t play so well after the 2008 recession, and in fact studies revealed a columnist could not really afford such luxuries in New York City of all places. 

The 1 ‘Sex and the City’ criticism Candace Bushnell agrees with

Once Bushnell sold the rights to Sex and the City, Michael Patrick King and Darren Starr took the story in their own direction. Bushnell said the show’s focus on each of its characters finding a man was “not very feminist.”

“The reality is, finding a guy is maybe not your best economic choice in the long term,” Bushnell told the Post. “Men can be very dangerous to women in a lot of different ways. We never talk about this, but that’s something that women need to think about: You can do a lot less… when you have to rely on a man. The TV show and the message were not very feminist at the end. But that’s TV. That’s entertainment. That’s why people should not base their lives on a TV show.”

Bushnell admitted she can’t look at Sex and the City as a fan. She certainly doesn’t obsess over it. 

Candace Bushnell at her one woman show 'Is There Still Sex In the City'
Candace Bushnell | William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

‘Sex and the City’: Candace Bushnell Once Revealed Why She Created Carrie Bradshaw

“I don’t look at the TV show the way other people look at it,” Bushnell said. “I don’t parse every little bit. It’s a great show, it’s really funny. But there are fans who . . . it’s like, that show really guides them.”

Candace Bushnell is still excited for ‘And Just Like That…’

However, Bushnell can share in fans’ excitement over the Sex and the City sequel. Bushnell is not involved with And Just Like That… but she has a vested interest. And maybe a 2021 incarnation will address some of the show’s shortcomings. 

“I don’t know anything about what the new show’s going to be about,” Bushnell said. “Of course I’m going to watch it…  I hope it runs for six seasons. I get paid a little bit of money.”

Source: New York Post