The stars of the NBC comedy Will & Grace have responded to criticism that the show's second incarnation is “too political.”

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the show's creators and cast addressed the criticism.

“Everything is political now no matter what you do – being a gay show on network television is a political act,” said co-creator David Kohan.

“We're a lot more political than we ever were, but there's a lot of low-hanging fruit,” said producer James Burrows.

Debra Messing and Sean Hayes agreed, saying that there's more political discourse in our culture.

“This isn't new,” said Messing. “We always pushed the boundaries. We always had very provocative humor. “I feel like we're doing what we always did, we just have more fodder these days. There's a lot more happening in our country to talk about.”

“The characters in the show are living the same lives as the audience, so anything that affects America at the time or in the world is going to be talked about on the show,” said Hayes.

McCormack added that this time around the show's characters deserve to “have a say.”

“The first couple years we did the show, Bill Clinton was in office," he explained. "I remember a distinct moment when 9/11 happened and we all looked to Max and David and said, 'Well, the characters live in New York, what are we going to do?' And the decision was made that Will & Grace is not the show to try to give some message, so we kept it lighter."

“I think this time around we thought, 'We can’t.' These characters have been living in New York and in this country – they are almost 50. It’s time for them to have a say, and that say needs to be funny as well, but it can’t just be light.”

(Related: Will & Grace showrunner donates gay bunny book to Indiana elementary schools.)