After the groundbreaking NBC sitcom Will & Grace came to an end for a second time on Thursday, creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick have addressed the feud between stars Debra Messing (Grace Adler) and Megan Mullally (Karen Walker).
While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Mutchnick said that during the last season of the series, everyone in the cast put aside their personal issues and focused on the work.
“We always work under this kind of motto that everything’s about the work. It’s just about the work,” said Mutchnick. “And so if we stay true to that, then we just keep you guys out of whatever happened on the set this year because it would have done nothing but get in the way of the stories that we wanted to tell.”
Mutchnick admitted that the 11th and final season was “not an easy year,” but the permanent legacy of Will & Grace is more important than “any temporary squabble” that takes place on the stage.
During the final season, Mullally was noticeably absent from two of the 18 episodes. Rumors swirled that Mullally was not part of the episodes because of a feud with Messing after they both unfollowed each other on Instagram.
As the final season played out, Messing and Mullally were rarely photographed together in the show’s social media posts. And, when they were in the same photo, they were never side-by-side or putting their arms around each other like they did with their other co-stars.
At the time, co-star Eric McCormack (Will Truman) told Us Weekly that there was no truth to the rumor that Messing and Mullally weren’t getting along. He said the rumor was “crazy,” and people worry about that “entirely too much.” McCormack added that all four of the show’s stars – himself, Messing, Mullally, and Sean Hayes (Jack McFarland) – get along “like a house on fire” and they always have.
The original eight-season run of Will & Grace was between 1998 and 2006, and it returned for a surprise revival in 2017 and ran for three more seasons. Mutchnick say that the series is now over for good because they finally gave the characters the ending they deserved.
“The first time, it felt like we were doing this thing that we were quote-unquote supposed to do, which was to send them both off into quote-unquote normal relationships and to make babies in these normal family compositions. But it wasn’t as honest to who the characters were,” Mutchnick explained. “We’re never coming back again. We would no sooner make this television show or a frame of it again. It won’t happen. That’s the final word.”
Mutchnik also revealed that they were able to film the entire season due to Messing’s “pain in the a**” contract which required them to have the season wrapped by Christmas 2019. Now, he is thankful for the clause because if they would have been on a regular shooting schedule, the COVID-19 pandemic and Hollywood shutdown would have prevented them from shooting the final episodes.