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Is Glee Too Problematic To Be Made Nowadays? This Star Says Yes

Is Glee Too Problematic To Be Made Nowadays? This Star Says Yes

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Fox's popular, queer-inclusive teen musical series was so beloved, but there are some elements that just didn't age well. 

Glee is undoubtedly one of the most important TV shows of the last few decades -- but could it be made today?

According to out star Jane Lynch, who won an Emmy for playing the tough-as-nails cheerleader coach Sue Silvester, the answer is no. Lynch spoke with The Guardian recently in an interview about how her character, and the show, would be received by fans if it were to premiere today.

"I don't know if we were describing people as 'problematic' even as recently as 2015, when Glee ended, but Sylvester goes way beyond that," she said. "As the villain, she is clearly deliberately awful, but I wonder if she would be able to get away with the things she said - racist, fat-shaming - were Glee still running."

Sylvester, and the show, were definitely described by many as "problematic," when it was airing. Despite being one of the most groundbreaking TV shows about queer chacters in the 21st century, the show was filled with transphobia, racism, ableism, biphobia, fatphobia, and misogyny, oftentimes in ways that fell flat, even at the time.

In fact, despite the good the show did for many fans, Lynch thinks that if the show was aired now, her character would be "canceled."

"I think there would have been people out there who would have wanted to cancel Sue Sylvester," she told The Guardian. "I don't know that we could have done that show today, and it was only like, we started that ten years ago."

While she makes a good point, Glee's creator Ryan Murphy has yet to be canceled for that show, or other "problematic" works he's created like Nip/Tuck and James Corden's performance in the film The Prom. And honestly, thank god for that, as he's also responsible for some of the best TV shows we've got, especially when it comes to LGBTQ+ representaion.

While a character like Sue Sylvester might not be as fun to watch in a post-Trump world, Glee certainly changed TV, and culture, for the better. The show has a very mixed legacy, but in the end, we wouldn't trade it for anything.

RELATED | Glee's 20 All-Time Best Performances, Ranked

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