Friends creator 'didn't do enough' for diversity

Friends creator 'didn't do enough' for diversity

Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman has admitted she "didn't do enough" to promote racial diversity in her shows.

Kauffman, who also co-created Grace and Frankie, was asked on a virtual panel interview what she wished she knew when she started out.

"I just wish I knew then what I know now. I would've made very different decisions," she said.

Despite its success, Friends has been criticised in recent years for its lack of diversity, even by its cast members.

Kauffman added during the 2020 ATX TV Festival: "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."

In an interview earlier this year, David Schwimmer - who played Ross in the sitcom - proposed a more diverse remake.

"Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends," he said. "But I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of colour.

"One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian American woman, and later I dated African American women. That was a very conscious push on my part."

Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe, was recently asked what a modern-day reboot of Friends would look like and told The Sunday Times: "Well, it would not be an all-white cast, for sure."

However she added that the show was of its time: "I'm not sure what else, but to me, it should be looked at as a time capsule, not for what they did wrong."

Friends was arguably one of the most popular sitcoms in TV history, running for 10 seasons between 1994 and 2004. It has since gained a whole new young audience.

The cast of Friends is also set to reunite for a one-off unscripted special, which will be shown on the HBO Max streaming service.

They will be seen reminiscing about their time on the series. However, production has been delayed due to the coronavirus.


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