Friends Co-Creator Finally Responded To the Fact That Show Had Lack Of Diversity

Marta Kauffman, who helped make Friends, talks about the show’s lack of diversity and how it makes her feel “embarrassed.” The show is known for showing how Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Monica (Courteney Cox), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Chandler (Matthew Perry), and Ross (Ross Geller) spend their days (David Schwimmer). Six people in their twenties and thirties learn essential lessons about life, love, and, most importantly, friendship for ten years.

It was an instant hit when Kauffman and David Crane brought Friends to NBC in 1994. The show ran for ten successful seasons before it finally ended in 2004. Even though it hasn’t been on TV for almost 20 years, the sitcom’s popularity has stayed strong because it’s easy to watch again. The show has stayed on cable through syndication and later on streaming services like Hulu and HBO Max. Even though the popular sitcom was very successful, it has been criticized for having a predominantly white cast. People had asked why the characters lived in a primarily white neighborhood when the show was set in New York, a very diverse city.

In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Marta Kauffman, one of the creators of Friends, talked about criticisms that the show doesn’t have enough different kinds of people on it. She agreed that these criticisms are valid. Kauffman says he has learned “a lot” in the last 20 years and is now “ashamed” that Friends doesn’t have enough different kinds of people in it. What she said is below:

It’s not easy to admit and accept guilt. When you look at yourself in the mirror, it hurts. I feel wrong that I didn’t know better when I was 25. In the previous 20 years, I’ve learned a lot.

The tone of the co-creator of Friends has changed based on their recent comments. Kauffman used to think that the show was unfairly singled out for its lack of diversity. Which she called “hard and frustrating.” Kauffman is admitting that Friends didn’t do enough to include everyone. She says that the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in 2020 and the racial justice protests that followed pushed her to do this. Kauffman’s change of heart doesn’t just talk, either. She has given $4 million to her alma mater, Brandeis University, to support the school’s African American studies department.

Some people of color, like Lauren Tom, Gabrielle Union, Mark Consuelos, and Craig Robinson, did make cameos on Friends. Their interactions with the main characters, on the other hand, were often short-lived. Friends didn’t have enough different kinds of people, and Kauffman has now come around to that point of view. Representation in movies and TV shows has always been a point of contention. But it hasn’t become a big deal until the last few years. Kauffman is still essential in the TV industry, so maybe she will do more to make a difference.

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