One thing that has been getting a lot of attention lately is that the TV show Friends has no black characters at all. In May 2020, Lisa Kudrow, who plays Phoebe Buffay on the show, also said that the show’s ten seasons were not very diverse.
The actress has said that if the show ever came back to TV, she “would never have an all-white cast.”
However, in a recent conversation with The Daily Beast, Kudrow explained why there weren’t any different kinds of people on the original sitcom. The actress said that because David Crane and Marta Kauffman are white, they “didn’t have the right” to write stories about people of colour on Friends.
The actress said, “I think it was like a show made by two Brandeis University students who wrote about their lives after college.” And in the series, especially in a character-centred sitcom, you write about what you know. They don’t have permission to write stories about what it’s like to be black. At that time, I thought, “Where is the apprenticeship?” was the biggest problem.
In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Marta Kauffman, who helped make Friends, talked about this issue and said she was embarrassed by the lack of diversity on the show.
She said that it took me a long time to figure out how I had taken systemic racism into myself. I worked hard to stop being a racist and become a friend. And this donation seemed like a way for me to contribute to a white woman. After what happened to George Floyd, I found it hard to accept racism in ways I didn’t know I would. That’s when I started to think about how I had taken part. I knew that I needed to fix the shot. I want this link to the black community that I didn’t have before. I never got to her because of Friends.
Over the past 20 years, I have learned a lot. It’s not easy to say and accept that you were wrong. When I glance in the mirror, I observe the following it hurts. I regretted not having known this 25 years ago. I finally feel like I’ve made a difference in this area now. I have to say that I felt better after I gave up and stopped sweating. But it won’t be over until I can do an excellent job on inclusion in my next production. I want to make sure that from now on, whenever I make a show, I hire people of colour and look for young black writers. I want to know that I will change how I act. Then I will be free.