What has (and hasn’t) changed for gay Americans since ‘Will & Grace’ debuted in 1998

The reviews are in. “Will & Grace” is the same. It’s America that’s changed.

A reboot of the hit sitcom “Will & Grace” premiered on Thursday at 9 p.m. EST on NBC with a joke in the final scene featuring a red baseball cap in the Oval Office and a slogan “Make America Gay Again.”

The show won 16 Emmy Awards during its eight-season run. It premiered on NBC on Sept. 21, 1998. It wasn’t the first to feature gay characters as members of the main cast, but its success was seen as groundbreaking.

In 1998, it was a luxury to have such a show and a renaissance of sorts for gay people in popular culture, given that it marked the end of the worst years of deaths from the AIDS epidemic in the U.S.

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