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

Amanda Bearse, who played Marcy Rhoades D’Arcy on “Married With Children,” says she understands why the show would be a victim of “cancel culture.”

“It was a very misogynist show,” the actress told Page Six in a recent interview. “To me, there were some episodes and storylines that I really wasn’t a fan of … there is a bit of cancel culture around it, which to me is not inappropriate.”

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

And that “second career” was directing.

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

“Married With Children,” which ran from 1987 to 1997, centered around a hapless 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 eviscerated by critics for being crude despite being loved by audiences.

Bearse helmed 31 episodes of the sitcom and then went on to direct a stream of other shows including, “Mad TV,” “The Jamie Foxx Show, “Dharma & Greg” and “Veronica’s Closet.”

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

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

“So that’s when 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 her agents and manager didn’t try to dissuade her.

“Frankly, it wasn’t up for discussion,” Bearse shared. “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 knew also that I was expecting a child and I just said that the time was right.”

It wasn’t until many years later when she watched an “E! True Hollywood Story” about the series did she realize that there had been “some flack” surrounding her announcement.

“Some stuff came raining down on my producers,” she revealed, “but they were so respectful, it didn’t get to me.”

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

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

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

“I got a call in to get a self-tape and I don’t recall a second request,” she explained. “I think I just went straight to meeting Billy and director Nick Stoller.

Despite this ground-breaking movie and more actors coming out every day, Bearse knows there are still plenty who are reluctant to do so.

“Some people do not want to risk, to take that chance, 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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