‘Sex and the City’: Sarah Jessica Parker Says the Show Isn’t About ‘Empowerment’ but Something Else Entirely

Although Sex and the City is filled with empowering moments, Sarah Jessica Parker says the show’s primary focus was never about empowerment. Instead, the main focus of the series is “love.” And according to Parker, if they were to make Sex and the City an empowering show, it would come across as “forced” and “yucky.” Keep reading to find out why.

Actors Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie) and Chris Noth (Mr. Big) act in a scene from the HBO television series 'Sex and the City' third season, episode 'Drama Queen'
Actors Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie) and Chris Noth (Mr. Big) | Paramount Pictures/Newsmakers

What is the primary takeaway from ‘Sex and the City’?

One of the primary values of Sex and the City is friendship. It was essential for the producer of the series, Darren Star, to create a story that proves how your friends can be a stand-in family for you.

And according to the book on the series titled Sex and the City and Us, that’s precisely what the show manages to achieve.

“The vision of singlehood also emphasized the idea of friends as true family, especially for urbanites in their thirties,” the book reports.

In fact, it was so vital that they emphasized how Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha are “family,” that they rarely show any of the characters’ actual family on the show.

“And when they did show up, they stayed in the background,” the book reveals. “This went even for weddings and other major events, which were more likely to feature the male partner’s family members than the main female characters’. Over time, this effect became deliberate, highlighting the fact that the women were each other’s true family.”

Sarah Jessica Parker says ’empowerment’ was never the focus of the show

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In an interview with Variety, Parker said that “empowerment” was never a word they used in the writer’s room. And if they were trying to make an “empowering” show, it would just come across as stiff.

“I don’t think that ’empowerment’ was a word that was ever used once on our set,” said Parker.

Instead, she emphasizes how the show is more about finding a “home” with love.

“You know, where is that?” says Parker. “What does contentment mean? How do you reconcile the things you want with what you’re given? How do Carrie and her female friendships, how do they find love?” she said. “It was a time and a place, economically and politically, that allowed for us to tell those stories that way.”

She continues, adding how she’s glad they didn’t make it an “empowering” show.

“It would have been yucky and self-conscious. And it would have been contrived and stiff, versus Michael Patrick and his extraordinary gifted and skilled writing room, just delight in storytelling,” said Parker.

Sarah Jessica Parker had one big issue with ‘Sex and the City’

While the star of Sex and the City is forever proud of her achievements, she has one significant issue about the series. According to Parker, she feels as though there was a severe lack of diversity on the HBO show.

“You couldn’t make it today because of the lack of diversity on screen,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “I personally think it would feel bizarre.”