The creatives responsible for bringing “Friends” to life on the small screen denounce the lack of diversity in the series.
Series creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane and executive producer Kevin Bright referred to the sitcom’s all-white cast and said that if the series were to premiere today, the cast would be different.
“If we made ‘Friends’ today, no, I don’t imagine they would probably end up being an all-white cast,” Bright, 66, told The Hollywood Reporter.
The producer went on to assert that the diversity among the cast would not be the only change.
“We would be so aware,” he continued. “So many things would change, but to get them to behave realistically during that time, there would be a lot of things that would change about them. And their racial makeup would change because of it.”
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The beloved sitcom aired for 10 seasons on NBC from 1994 to 2004. It starred Jennifer aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and Lisa Kudrow, who gathered for a special HBO Max reunion that dropped Thursday.
Kauffman, 64, insisted the show’s lack of diversity was unintentional.
“At the time, there was no conscious decision. We saw people of all races, religions, colors,” she told the outlet. “These are the six people we picked. So it certainly wasn’t conscious. And it wasn’t because it was literally based on people, because it wasn’t literal. You get a inspiration for someone, you write down what you think their voice is going to be, but it wasn’t literal. “
Of course, the series catapulted the careers of the stars, and its catchphrases are still used by fans around the world today. Realizing the success of the show, Bright said he “would have been crazy not to hire these six actors.”
” What can I say ? “I wish Lisa was black?” I loved this casting. I loved the show and loved the experience. I know Marta has a different feeling about this. I think it affects us all, “he added.
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Kauffman, also co-creator of the Netflix original series “Grace and Frankie“, previously mentioned the lack of diversity in” Friends “in 2020.
“I would like to know then what I know today,” the TV creator said while choking back tears (via Sixth page). “Sorry, I just wish I had known then what I know now. I would have made very different decisions.”
She continued, “I mean, we’ve always encouraged people of diversity in our business, but I haven’t done enough and now all I can think of is what can I do? in a new way? And that’s something I not only wish I had known when I first started running, but I wish I had known all through the last year. “
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Schwimmer, who played Ross Geller on the series, previously said he pushes for his character dating a woman of color.
“I was well aware of the lack of diversity and campaigned for years for Ross to date women of color. One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was a native woman. Asian, and later I dated African American women. It was a very conscious push on my part, “he said. The Guardian last january.
Fans were thrilled this week to see the original cast again on the small screen for the first time in 17 years. It has been a long wait for the fans as the special reunion for HBO Max has been postponed from 2020 to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fox News’s Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.
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