Film and TV

Will & Grace Take on Colorado's Gay Wedding Cake Controversy

Megan Mullally, right, with guest star Vanessa Bayer in a scene from last night's Colorado gay wedding cake controversy-satirizing episode of Will & Grace.
Megan Mullally, right, with guest star Vanessa Bayer in a scene from last night's Colorado gay wedding cake controversy-satirizing episode of Will & Grace. NBC via Facebook
The March 15 episode of the rebooted NBC sitcom hit Will & Grace offered a hilarious take on Colorado's gay wedding cake controversy. And by the end of the show, President Donald Trump wound up as both winner and loser.

The story behind the story: In July 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins went to Denver's Masterpiece Cakeshop to order a cake for a gay wedding, only to be turned down because Jack Phillips, who owns the business, objects to such unions on religious grounds. Since then, the case has wound its way through the judicial system all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where oral arguments were heard in December. A ruling is expected by the end of the current term.

Westword has covered the matter since the beginning. Links to a whopping twenty stories on the topic published over nearly six years are accessible below, along with a link to last night's show.

As a teaser, here's a blooper from the broadcast, shared on Facebook:

In this scene, cheerfully insane right-winger Karen Walker, portrayed by Megan Mullally, stops into a bakery to order a cake for Donald Trump sporting the letters "MAGA," the acronym for "Make America Great Again." But the employee — Vanessa Bayer, of Saturday Night Live fame — refuses on the grounds that doing so would violate her beliefs.

When Karen's pal Grace Adler (Debra Messing) hears about what happened, she immediately becomes upset, based on her knowledge of what happened in Colorado — until she finds out that it was a MAGA cake for Trump. But her opinion flips again when she realizes that protecting freedom of speech often means we must defend content that we personally find appalling. With that in mind, she meets Karen at the bakery and argues that Bayer's character should bake the cake anyhow.

The employee does so, but she initially frames MAGA with the letter "I" to the left and "Y" to the right, resulting in a three-word phrase that means something very different.

We won't give away the ending, but it's both gut-busting and appropriately messy.

Click to watch the episode and continue for a Masterpiece Cakeshop chronology by way of Westword coverage.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts