And Just Like That director thinks he knows why audiences turned on Che Diaz

And Just Like That director thinks he knows why audiences turned on Che Diaz

And Just Like That... director Michael Patrick King is well aware of the negative discourse surrounding Sara Ramirez’s non-binary stand-up, Che Diaz.

King, who also executive produces, writes and created the Sex and the City spin-off, thinks he even knows at what point things went awry for Che, who has been consistently mocked and even branded the “worst character on TV”.

Following the season one finale last year, The Independent’s Adam White went as far as to say Che “destroyed And Just Like That...”.

A week after the show’s season two finale aired on 24 August, King, who also directed, wrote, and executive produced the original sitcom, sat down with Vanity Fair’s Still Watching podcast and discussed the Che Diaz controversy.

“I think it was all fine until Che fingered Miranda in the kitchen, while Carrie was peeing in the Snapple bottle,” King said in reference to the debut season’s jaw-dropping sex scene that “terrorised” fans.

“I think that freaked the audience out so much that they went into some sort of seatbelt mode with the first season. Like, what’s gonna happen next if that happened?

“Che was great the first couple of episodes. And then once the finger happened... Che became a villain.”

Che was among the four recurring newcomers to join the franchise’s original characters, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis).

Cynthia Nixon and Sara Ramirez in ‘And Just Like That' (Sky)
Cynthia Nixon and Sara Ramirez in ‘And Just Like That' (Sky)

They were introduced as Carrie’s podcast producer and later became Miranda’s sexual awakening.

“I think the trick with season one of And Just Like That was the math equation,” King said, adding that: “You’ve known Miranda 20 years.

“The volume of investment was so stacked against the new characters just because who are they? Why, why aren’t they talking to the people that I know?

“So when you bring in a character like Che, who was by design was supposed to be cocky – people are like, ‘I don’t like Che.’ And I go, ‘You don’t like standups.’ That’s it,” he argued.

“Any person who stands on stage and says, ‘I’m the art’ is gonna be off-putting in real life. And, you know, they have to be dynamic. They have to be sexual because that was what we wanted to do with Miranda, was awaken that part of herself by this giant Niagara Falls of being pulled to this darker personality for what she’s used to. I mean, put Che against Steve and it’s like dark versus light, you know?”

King continued: “People made a snap judgment about Che based on their cockiness, their arrogance, and I think, quite frankly, their sexuality.”

And Just Like That... is available to stream on Max in the US and on Sky and NOW in the UK.