‘I’ve been accosted at parties by people I don’t know — “Why is she doing that? What does she know? How dare she?”’ the ‘SATC’ star told Gwyneth Paltrow.
She couldn’t help but wonder: Why won’t people give “brilliant” Cynthia Nixon a chance?
Sarah Jessica Parker defended her former “Sex and the City” co-star’s gubernatorial bid this week, lamenting that the actor-turned-progressive insurgent isn’t getting a fair shake — especially from women.
“I’ve been accosted at parties by people I don’t know — ‘Why is she doing that? What does she know? How dare she?’ By women! Only by women,” Parker told Gwyneth Paltrow on an episode of the “Goop” podcast released Thursday. “I’m surprised at how little time people are taking … to learn about Cynthia, to know about who she is.”
“You don’t have to agree with her policy; you don’t have to vote for her. But certainly take the time before you criticize the fact that she’s boldly pursuing this,” added Parker, who has known Nixon since they were 11 or 12. “She knew when she did it, it was going to be a challenge. But she’s been good, everyone agrees she’s been good for this conversation in this city; they call it the ‘Cynthia Effect.’ … It’s moved (Gov. Andrew Cuomo) to make some progressive choices.”
Nixon, an Emmy-, Grammy- and Tony-winning actress and longtime New York City activist, launched her candidacy in March, positioning herself as a progressive alternative to two-term incumbent Cuomo in September’s Democratic primary. A Quinnipiac poll released in mid-July had Cuomo leading Nixon 59-23.
Asked by Paltrow about these women’s objections, Parker elaborated: “‘What does she know? Why isn’t she just running for mayor? Why is she running for governor? I saw her on a talk show; she seemed ill-prepared.’ And I was like, ‘Wow … I will take the time, ma’am, and I will tell you a little bit about Cynthia Nixon.’” She charted her pal’s path from being raised by a single mom in a fifth-floor walkup to her advocacy on social justice causes and public schools, praising her as “brilliant,” “formidable” and “willing to learn.”
“She has a point of view about the city where she was born and raised, just like anybody else who might run for public office,” Parker added. “We don’t typically question the provenance of the candidate so much. And we certainly didn’t have the same standard for a gentleman who was elected president.”
Parker went on to draw a parallel to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who some have argued received unfair news coverage during the campaign. “I’m just surprised that after all the looking back at what happened in the 2016 election, and highly regarded journalists recognizing that the standard they held for candidate Clinton was very different than the standard they held for candidate (Donald) Trump,” she said. “And here we are again with Cynthia, and I feel like we’re doing it all over again.”
While Parker admitted she doesn’t expect people’s “old-fashioned thinking” to change “overnight,” she expressed hope that the younger generation — including her and Paltrow’s sons — would help lead the charge. “I just think it’s going to be Moses and James Wilkie and their friends, and a generation that simply looks at gender and identity and class differently,” she said.
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