Debra Messing revealed a #MeToo moment on the November 1 episode of Will & Grace titled “Grace’s Secret” that was a powerful reminder of just how damaging sexual abuse can be and could potentially win the actress an Emmy for her outstanding work.
The actress delivered a stellar performance in an episode that was fraught with emotion, despite several attempts by the show’s stars in other segments to lighten the mood.
Grace’s #MeToo moment came during a car trip with her father Martin (Robert Klein) upstate, with plans to drop by the cemetery where Grace’s mom was buried and where Martin’s best friend Harry was buried, as reported by Deadline.
When Grace told her father she would visit her mother’s grave but not Harry’s her father was visibly annoyed at her statement.
Father and daughter ate a roadside diner where Martin casually flirted with a favorite waitress, calling her “sweetheart” and telling her “she should be on the menu.”
An angry Grace told her father he shouldn’t do things like that, and that type of behavior was not acceptable in today’s society. Martin told his daughter she needs to “lighten up, and that the waitress loves it.”
Grace bit back to her father, “They don’t love it.”
It was then that the show set itself up for a pivotal moment between father and daughter and one that has the potential to win Messing an Emmy for the titular episode when the nominations are announced in July of 2019.
Martin wanted to know why Grace had it in for Harry after all these years had passed knowing that Grace “embarrassed” the family by stealing money from Harry when she was a teenager and she worked for him for one summer.
“The whole summer that I worked for Harry I kept telling you that he was creepy,” she said. “What do you think that meant?”
“No. No. I remember. I remember every single thing that happened that day…It was hot, so hot I had to have my hair up, and it showed off the earrings I borrowed from mom that made me feel really grown up. At the end of the day, Harry called me into his office….He pushed me up against the wall…pulled down my pants, put his fingers…I was 15.”
Martin ended the discussion that his deceased friend was “dead to him” after abusing his baby girl.
The powerful episode was played just right, with just the right amount of human interaction interplayed with some lighter moments to deliver the timely point across.
Will & Grace airs Thursdays on NBC.