'And Just Like That' Showrunner: Viewers 'Blinded, Out of Fear or Terror' Over Che Diaz, Promises More Che in Season 2

Sunday June 5, 2022
Originally published on June 1, 2022

Sara Ramírez, left, and Cynthia Nixon in a scene from HBO Max's "And Just Like That..."
Sara Ramírez, left, and Cynthia Nixon in a scene from HBO Max's "And Just Like That..."  (Source:Craig Blankenhorn / HBO Max)

In a new interview feature for Variety, nonbinary actor Sara Ramírez opened up about their role as nonbinary podcaster and standup comic Che Diaz on HBO Max's "Sex and the City" revival "And Just Like That..." In Season 1, Che forms an intimate relationship with Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), who ends her longtime marriage to be with them. As Variety writes, Che was "the most visible (and often most ridiculed) queer character on TV."

"The character served as a Rorschach test for viewers," the outlet goes on to write, later adding: "Che became an object of cruel mockery, and the progenitor of a million 'Hey, it's Che Diaz' memes and jokes about their Netflix 'comedy concert,' as Miranda nerdily called it. When those detractors included LGBTQ viewers, the idea of Che exposed that perhaps those people simply wanted more palatable representation: more white, and more cisgender. For gay Che haters, the call was coming from inside the house."

The piece also reveals that Che isn't going anywhere for Season 2 "with an even more robust storyline."

"When we last saw Che, they were heading to Los Angeles with Miranda (who'd dyed her gray hair red again to represent her sexual awakening), and the new season of 'And Just Like That ...' will pick up three weeks later," the publication writes, adding that show runner Michael Patrick King has recently started the writers' room with Ramírez revealing: "The first season was judging a book by its cover, and Season 2 is about reading the book."

"One of my burning passions about Season 2 is Che," King said. "I want to show the dimension of Che that people didn't see, for whatever reason — because they were blinded, out of fear or terror. I want to show more of Che rather than less of Che. Like, really."

King went on to tell Variety that he is still in disbelief over the reaction to Che.

"My friend Gregg Araki, he's a filmmaker, said to me, 'How does it feel to have created the most polarizing character in all 5,000 shows that are on TV?'"

When King asked him to clarify, Araki cited outrageous characters currently on television such as "Vikings who are drinking children's blood" and so on.

"And what everybody's concerned about is a nonbinary stand-up comic in the present day," King said.

Variety goes on to note that Ramírez did not do much press for "And Just Like That..." but back in February they did tell The New York Times that they don't "recognize" themselves in Che. Nevertheless, they tell the publication now that they are "aware that Che made waves" but purposely avoided the online reaction to the character.

"Other people's opinions of a character — that's not something I can allow into my process," Ramírez said. "I choose what I receive, right? That's the beauty of being grown — I don't have to receive everything! And this is Michael's baby. He created this role. He wrote it. Those are his and his writing team's jokes."

Nixon, who suggested Ramírez for the part, also spoke to Variety about the Che reaction, saying she was also confused by it.

"I don't know what to make of it," she said. "I mean, I think you've got a lot of marriage-police people out there." Nixon also wonders whether the explosion was because the Miranda-Che relationship is so different from TV's usual "girl-on-girl action that people across the board think is really sexy."

"A person like Sara is really threatening and frightening to people," Nixon added.

Click here to read the full Variety piece.