The long-time feud brewing at the heart of Sex and the City bubbled to a head in October 2017. And now, with Kim Cattrall's clap-back at all those who have blamed her for the collapse of the third movie, even more stars of the series have dished out their opinions on the matter.
Most notably perhaps, Willie Garson — the talent behind the best-friend-we-all-wish-we-had Stanford Blatch — waded in all guns blazing. Mocking Cattrall's words on the "toxic" relationships behind the scenes on SATC and her failure to negotiate a contract, he tweeted:
Now, we can't help but wonder... how on earth did it all come to this? So, to make sense of why everyone's been getting their claws out over the recent #SexAndTheCity news, let's rewind back over the years to when the beef began. Sit back, relax, and pour yourself a Cosmo — here's your definitive guide to the spat between Kim Cattrall, Sarah Jessica Parker and the rest of the SATC girls:
'I Thought It Was Time To Move On'
News of trouble in Big Apple paradise began after the show aired its final episode on #HBO in February 2004. The first movie was intended to go into production soon after, but was majorly delayed due to problems with salary negotiations — in particular, with Kim Cattrall.
Apparently, she had asked for a raise after learning that Sarah Jessica Parker had been granted one (SJP was promoted to executive producer after Season 2). Soon after, Cattrall told talk show host Jonathan Ross what really went down:
"I felt after six years it was time for all of us to participate in the financial windfall of 'Sex and The City.' When they didn't seem keen on that I thought it was time to move on."
She had asked to be paid $1 million per episode, after previously receiving $350,000.
Months on, and when the #Emmys came around in September 2004, the tension between the cast began seeping through the cracks. At the ceremony, Kim sat far away from her co-stars and failed to attend the after party. When she was asked about the distancing later, Cattrall told The Telegraph:
"Are we the best of friends? No. We're professional actresses. We have our own separate lives."
'People Made A Decision That We Had Vilified Her'
Fast forward to May 2008, and the tricky salary subject popped up again after the release of the first movie. And SJP was the one to address the money issue this time around, actually defending her co-star in claims that she had delayed the film's production:
"Honestly, we are all friends and I wish I saw more of Kim. She mentioned money and no one should vilify her for it. People made a decision that we had vilified her. No one bothered to say [to the rest of us], 'Are you disappointed by not making the movie?' Yes. 'Do you respect and support her choice to not do it?' Absolutely."
Then, in a Marie Claire round-up in June 2008, HBO CEO Chris Albrecht also chimed in:
"When you're keeping people for years, you have to continue to pay them more money. Sarah was becoming more and more famous, and her salary increased beyond what was contractually committed, which is normal for hit shows. The other actresses wanted to keep up."
Mario Cantone — the actor who played Anthony Marantino on SATC — also offered an interesting perspective on the media frenzy:
"Certain people were vilified in some articles, and others were vilified in other articles. It's interesting how they never write stuff like that about the men on 'The Sopranos.' They always go after the women. They just do."
'It's Exhausting Talking About It, And A Real Bore'
In November 2009, SJP once again tried to silence any commotion. In an interview with Elle, she reiterated that she had nothing but love for Kim, saying:
"I don’t think anybody wants to believe that I love Kim. I adore her. I wouldn’t have done the movie without her. Didn’t and wouldn’t."
A month later, Cattrall echoed this trajectory herself, revealing to The Daily Mail that she thought that all this chat about feuds exhausted her and was a "real bore." Expressing her annoyance at the ongoing debate over whether she and SJP want to rip each other's hair out, she said:
"I think Sarah was right: people don’t want to believe that we get on. They have too much invested in the idea of two strong, successful women fighting with each other. It makes for juicy gossip and copy. The truth of us being friends and getting along and happily doing our jobs together is where near as newsworthy. I think Sarah is fantastic… She is a born leader and she guides the crew and the cast in such a strong but gentle way. She and I are sick of this. It’s exhausting talking about it, and a real bore. Next?"
'Sometimes Feelings Get Hurt'
However, a few months down the line in 2010, SJP finally admitted that things weren't always peachy on set. Posing for Marie Claire for the premiere of Sex and the City 2 with all of the ladies, Parker revealed that "feelings get hurt" behind the scenes, saying that it's inevitable considering how much time the cast and crew spend together:
"You're on set, you're working 90-hour weeks, you're never home, you're exhausted. There are times when all of us have been sensitive and sometimes feelings get hurt. But I don't have any regrets about how I've treated people."
Cattrall then concurred, saying how the set can be "stressful" and how any 19-hour work day in any industry is exhausting. Despite all of that, she consoled fans:
"There's a camaraderie that happened through all of that... the chemistry among the four of us is very strong. Because the press has to put women in these boxes, rather than show them as the movie portrays them: working together and being powerful. Things just have to be explosive for no other reason than for people's imaginations."
Cynthia Nixon then agreed that things aren't always smooth sailing, but "the idea that we're somehow adversarial is ludicrous."
'Was Every Day Perfect? No.'
A few years then went by, and nothing substantial came to light regarding the SATC beef simmering under the surface. In fact, in August 2016, SJP even posted the following birthday message onto her Instagram, wishing Kim a "marvelous" birthday.
And in the following month, SJP revealed to Time magazine the overwhelming fan response to her Instagram tribute:
"I posted something on Kim's birthday and people were like, 'Oh my God, I didn't know you liked her!' What? We were all at liberty to walk away at any time! But nobody asked those questions of shows with men. Isn't that interesting?"
This critical debate over how society loves to pit women against one another then came up yet again during an October 2016 interview with Howard Stern. Comparing the SATC ensemble to the male-dominated one on The Sopranos, Parker argued that female-heavy casts were almost always treated differently — essentially while nobody would ever delve into the personal relationships between men, women are forced to contend with questions such as, "Did you hang out this weekend with each other? Did you give each other Christmas presents?"
She then added:
"Was every day perfect? Were people always desperately, hopefully in love with each other? No, but this is a family of people who needed each other, relied upon each other and loved each other. This sort of narrative, this ongoing catfight, it really upset me for a very long time. It was usually about bad behavior on the set. I take very seriously, my reputation. I work really hard and I treat people well. I have a work ethic that's very meaningful to me and it's based on the affection I feel for the people I get to work with. To suggest that I'm behaving poorly or not treating somebody well... It would drive me bananas."
'Sex And The City 3' Is Cancelled
A year on, and here we are. Following a rollercoaster ride of emotions surrounding the third sequel, the project has been flung off the production cliff. In September, after months of expressing her excitement over a potential follow-up to Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha's storylines, SJP confirmed that it's not happening:
"It's over... we're not doing it. I’m disappointed. We had this beautiful, funny, heartbreaking, joyful, very relatable script and story. It’s not just disappointing that we don’t get to tell the story and have that experience, but more so for that audience that has been so vocal in wanting another movie."
And this is where the recent shit storm began again. After The Daily Mail published a report blaming Kim Cattrall for the film's breakdown, claiming that she had demanded that Warner Bros. produce her other projects too, the actress took to Twitter to bat away the scathing rumors:
Then, Willie Garson crept in with this cryptic message:
Our sweet Charlotte, actress Kristin Davis, then posted this lamenting Instagram, bidding a fine farewell to what could have been:
'She Could Have Been Nicer'
Understandably, feeling were hurt on both sides of the cancellation, and while the SATC cast members should have probably let it all go at this point, it wasn't going to happen. Soon after the damaging report in The Daily Mail, Kim appeared on the Piers Morgan-led Life Stories, where she explained her decisions to not do the film, as well as shockingly suggesting that SJP was a bit of an asshole:
"The answer was always no and a respectful, firm, no. [...] I never asked for any money, I never asked for any projects, to be thought of as some kind of diva is absolutely ridiculous. This is really where I take to task the people from 'Sex and the City,' and specifically Sarah Jessica Parker, in that I think she could have been nicer. [...] I don't know what her issue is, I never have."
And that wasn't the end of it, after slamming SJP for not being nice, she described how things really went down with the third sequel's negotiations:
"Another thing that's really disappointing is that nobody ever picks up the phone and tries to contact you and say, 'How you doing?' That would have been the way to handle it… And usually what happens in a healthy relationship is that someone, or a transaction for a job in my business, is that someone says, 'Are you available?' and you say 'Yes' and here's the job and you say 'Yes, but thank you very much but I'm sort of over here right now but thank you very much,' and that person turns to you, and they say 'That's great, good luck to you, I wish you the best.' That's not what happened here, this is, it feels like a toxic relationship."
In a perfect mic-drop moment, she then reigned it all in with the following:
"This isn’t about more money, this is not about more scenes, it’s not about any of those things. This is about a clear decision, an empowered decision in my life to end one chapter and start another. I’m 61. It’s now."
Do you think Sex and the City 3 should go on without Samantha?