It’s been two decades since “Dawson’s Creek” delivered a groundbreaking moment in LGBTQ history when Jack McPhee (played by Kerr Smith) shared a passionate kiss with his boyfriend (Adam Kaufman) in the third season’s finale.
“I remember that episode like yesterday,” Smith recalled for TV Guide during an interview on the set of “Riverdale”, in which he plays Principal Honey.
“It was a big deal. Back then, it wasn’t just a big deal for the show — it was really a big deal everywhere,” Smith admitted. “I was nervous. Adam Kaufman was nervous. I think Josh Jackson came to set that day, and he wasn’t even working, which was highly unusual. I am very proud of what we did back then. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years.”
While he admitted he was apprehensive at the time, he also recognized the importance of the kidss to the LGBTQ community.
“[Executive producer] Greg Berlanti, [series creator] Kevin Williamson, and myself, we all knew what we were doing would hopefully make an impact on society and just get people to accept other people for who they are,” Smith said. “Who cares what their sexual preference is? Who cares what religion we are? It doesn’t matter, we’re just all one, one being.”
In fact, Smith points to his current show as proof of how much television has changed during the 20 years that’s passed since he and Kaufman locked lips.
“Cut to 20 years later, and we’re here on “Riverdale”, and you have several gay characters,” Smith said. “It shows how far we’ve come. It wasn’t a big deal, yet to me [back then], it was the biggest deal in the world. I am very happy about how we’ve all changed.”