‘Married with Children’ star admits it was a ‘very misogynistic show’

Amanda Bearse, who played Marcy Rhoades D’Arcy in “Married With Children,” says she understands why the show would fall victim to “cancellation culture.”

“It was a very misogynistic show,” the actress told Vidak For Congress in a recent interview. “For me, there were some episodes and storylines that I really wasn’t a fan of… there’s a bit of cancellation culture around it, which isn’t inappropriate for me.”

However, Bearse, 64, was quick to comment that she’s “very grateful for that show for many reasons — mostly because it’s given me my second career.”

And that ‘second career’ was directing.

Amanda Bearse "Married with children."
Bearse played neighbor Marcy Rhoades D’Arcy in “Married with Children”.
©Columbia Photos/Courtesy Eve

“Married With Children,” which ran from 1987 to 1997, revolved around an unhappy women’s shoe salesman named Al Bundy (Ed O’Neill), his lazy wife Peggy (Katey Sagal), and their two children, Kelly (Christina Applegate) and Bud. (David Faustino).

Bearse played their neighbor, who often clashed with Al. The raucous show was taken apart by critics for being rude despite being liked by the audience.

Bearse directed 31 episodes of the sitcom and went on to direct a string of other shows, including ‘Mad TV’, ‘The Jamie Foxx Show, ‘Dharma & Greg’ and ‘Veronica’s Closet’.

The “Fright Night” star said she is also grateful to “Married with Children” for their unconditional support when she came out publicly in 1993.

Bearse – who was expecting a child through adoption at the time – decided to come out because tabloids were snooping around her personal life and she suspected they “would take the story (in a sense) wherever they wanted and I wasn’t about to let that happen in a negative way.”

“So then I said, ‘I’m going to tell the story myself,'” she told us.

Bearse became the first actor on a primetime network television series to come out as gay four years before Ellen DeGeneres did.

Despite the times, she told us that her agents and manager were not trying to dissuade her.

“Honestly, it wasn’t up for discussion,” Bearse said. “I may have let my producers know – the showrunners of “Married… with Children” – but they knew who I was, they knew this part of my life. They also knew I was expecting a child and I just said the time was right.”

It wasn’t until many years later that she watched an ‘E! True Hollywood Story” about the series, she realized there was “some nonsense” surrounding her announcement.

“Some things came down to my producers,” she revealed, “but they were so respectful, it just didn’t get through to me.”

    Amanda Bearse (front), George Dvorsky (beard), Jai Rodriguez, director Nicholas Stoller (standing), Luke Macfarlane (front), on the set of "brothers."
Bearse plays Luke Macfarlane’s mother in ‘Bros’.
©Universal/Courtesy Everett Col

Bearse, who recently moved back to California after her daughter Zoe entered college, has made a huge comeback to the big screen.

She appears in Billy Eichner’s “Bros,” a gay rom-com with a cast almost entirely made up of LGBTQIA+ actors. In it, she plays Luke MacFarlane’s mother.

“I got a call to get a self-tape and I can’t remember a second request,” she explained. “I think I went straight to Billy and director Nick Stoller.

Despite this groundbreaking film and more actors coming out every day, Bearse knows there are still plenty of people who don’t want to do this.

“Some people don’t want to take the risk, to take that opportunity, for that lifeline, in a way, to end,” she noted. “To be cut off. So there are a lot more people who live their lives privately and present themselves publicly in a different way.”

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