I Couldn't Help But Wonder...
Sara Ramirez as Che Diaz on HBO Max's 'And Just Like That'

Sara Ramirez Clapped Back At And Just Like That Critics Who Hate Che

They have a point.

Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max

Warning: Spoilers for the And Just Like That finale follow. And Just Like That wrapped up its first season on Feb. 2, but fans and critics still can’t stop talking about Che Diaz. The character was introduced to the SATC universe at the start of And Just Like That’s first season on HBO Max, and right away they caused quite a stir. Audiences criticized the character for representing a lot of their issues with the sequel series, and actor Sara Ramirez, who plays Che on And Just Like That, finally addressed the complaints.

And Just Like That has received a lot of backlash for its heavy-handed treatment of identity issues, a lot of which centers on Che, a famous nonbinary comedian and podcaster. Fans took issue with the character's “woke moment” button they use for podcasting and their somewhat hamfisted jokes during their “comedy concerts.” There’s also the fact that the character is a self-proclaimed “narcissist” and played a major role in inadvertently breaking up Miranda’s (Cynthia Nixon) marriage.

Ramirez, for their part, has heard the criticism of Che, and they recently told the New York Times, “I don't recognize myself in Che,” making it clear they and their character are two different people.

Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max

Even with the separation between Ramirez and Che, Ramirez said they still try to avoid most of the Che criticism. “I’m very aware of the hate that exists online, but I have to protect my own mental health and my own artistry. And that’s way more important to me because I’m a real human being,” they said.

That said, Ramirez is happy with the character they created alongside the producers of the series. “I’m really proud of the representation that we’ve created,” Ramirez said. “We have built a character who is a human being, who is imperfect, who’s complex, who is not here to be liked, who’s not here for anybody’s approval. They’re here to be themselves.”

Ramirez also thinks “Che Diaz has their own audience that they speak to who really get a kick out of what they’re doing,” and has a few guesses as to how Che might react to the criticism. “I imagine Che would have something very witty and silly and funny as a rebuttal,” they said. “Something that ultimately reminds everyone that they are human; something with a sprinkling of self-deprecation, because I think they know they’re a narcissist. And maybe just a little reminder that no one’s perfect.”

And Just Like That is streaming on HBO Max now.