Why ‘Friends’ lacked diversity

Marta Kaufmann, the co-creator of the Iconic hit series ‘Friends’, has stated the reason behind the sitcom’s lack of diversity.

This is coming more than 25 years since the first episode of the hit ‘90s sitcom aired on television. 

Accepting some responsibility for the apparent lack, Kaufmann admitted to being ignorant. In an episode of CNN’s History of the Sitcom, the television producer also explained that it was a “product of the time period”.

She said,

“It was, to a certain extent, a product of the time period. And of my own ignorance. There were black shows and there were white shows. There weren’t a lot of shows that were interracial. I guess at the time I was thinking, ‘This is what I know. This is what I know.’”

Friends
Marta Kauffman
(Credit: Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock )

She added that she’s trying to do better now. “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? That’s something I wish I knew when I started show-running, but all the way up through last year” she said.

From 1994 to 2004, Friends told the stories of six white friends living in New York City. The show was based on the life experiences of Kauffman and her longtime friend and Friends co-creator, David Crane. 

ALSO READ: What would your favorite character from Friends be up to today? Here’s what the cast thinks

While there is no denying that the series is not a force to reckon with regarding its diversity, some members of the cast have noted that the sitcom was considered ahead of its time in other aspects.

In an interview with The Guardian in January 2020, actor, David Schwimmer who played Ross Gellar stated, “The truth is also that Friends was groundbreaking in its time for the way in which it handled so casually sex, protected sex, gay marriage and relationships. The pilot of the show was my character’s wife left him for a woman and there was a gay wedding, of my ex and her wife, that I attended.”

A reunion special of the series called ‘Friends: The Reunion“, also known as “The One Where They Get Back Together“, was aired on May 27, this year 

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