Marta Kauffman wishes she did more to make the cast of "Friends" more diverse and issued an emotional apology.
The 'Friends' television show has amassed a very huge fan base since it premiered 26 years ago. It's funny, it's light-hearted and also very white, some may even go as far as to say racist. This is just the type of thing you got used to over time especially in the 90s. But, now, in hindsight, an all-white cast set in a multi-cultural city like New York City may not have been the best move for building unity and equality. Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman shares a similar sentiment and wishes she made "very different decisions".
Some of the cast members have addressed claims that the show is racist in the past but the big honcho (or honcha) has now come out about it. During the virtual 2020 ATX TV festival, Kauffman got very emotional to the point of tears as she apologized for not promoting diversity in the show.
"I wish I knew then what I knew today, I would have made very different decisions," she said, according to Deadline. "We’ve always encouraged people of diversity in our company, but I didn’t do enough. 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 showrunning but all the way up through last year."
The show isn't 100% white-washed though, with David Schwimmer, who played Ross, admitting to amending the lack of diversity with the addition of new characters.
"I was well aware of the lack of diversity," he said. "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 Buffay also said that if the show was filmed today "it would not be an all-white cast, for sure"
"I’m not sure what else, but to me, it should be looked at as a time capsule, not for what they did wrong."
As you may already know, "Black Lives Matter" protests are erupting all over the world right now to shine a light on the injustices faced by black people on a day to day basis. The situation hit a boiling point when George Floyd was murdered by a cop unjustly.