‘Friends’ remains one of the most popular sitcoms of all-time. It is also one of the least diverse programs in the history of television.
Now, almost 26 years after its debut, one of the co-creators, Marta Kauffman, is speaking out on how she wished she did a better job addressing diversity on the iconic NBC show.
“I wish I knew then what I knew today, I would have made very different decisions,” Kauffman said at the 2020 ATX TV From the Couch virtual panel, per the BBC. “I mean we’ve always encouraged people of diversity in our company, but I didn’t do enough and now all I can think about is, what can I do? What can I do differently? How can I run my show in a new way? And that’s something I not only wish I knew when I started showrunning, but I wish I knew all the way up through last year.”
Long condemned for its extremely “inaccurate depiction of New York,” the longest-serving character of color was played by Aisha Tyler. She was on nine episodes as Ross’ girlfriend Charlie. The next was actor Phill Lewis as he was on three episodes as Chandler’s boss.
Some of the cast members also chimed in on show’s lack of diversity.
David Schwimmer gave an interview in The Guardian earlier this year, in which he mentioned that he wanted his character, Ross, to “date women of color,” as he was trying to drive an opportunity for more, diverse casting. His co-star, Lisa Kudrow, known on the show as Phoebe, recently said in an interview with the Sunday Times that a current version of ‘Friends’ would “not be an all-white cast, for sure.”
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Article Courtesy of Complex
First and Second Picture Courtesy of WENN