The Season 3 finale of Dawson’s Creek aired 20 years ago on May 24, 2000. The episode featured TV’s first gay kiss, between Kerr Smith’s character Jack McPhee’s and his prom date Ethan (Adam Kaufman).
Kerr, Kaufman and Dawson’s Creek show runner Gina Fattore, who co-wrote the episode, reflected on it for Us Weekly.
Said Smith: “Nobody had really done it before, and I was being asked to do this. I said, ‘All right, let’s make some history. Let’s change the way people think.’ … Look at any show today — comedy or drama — you’re going to have gay, lesbian and transgender characters. That’s the way it should be. That was the goal back then. In society, we’ve made that transition and I’m very proud we did that.”
Added Kaufman: “[The scene] gave millions of people a story line that was reflective of their reality. I’m so honored to have been a part of that.”
Fattore recalled the pressure she felt to get it right: “The main thing I remember is [showrunner] Greg [Berlanti] calling me that morning and yelling at me like he was an old-time movie mogul: ‘This has to be a real kiss! I want to see passion.’ He couldn’t be on set that day, but the scene was so important to him, and I knew that I had to be his eyes and ears, and make sure the footage we got would work.”