‘Friends’ co-creator Marta Kauffman now ’embarrassed’ by her lack of diversity

Marta Kauffman says she now understands why people criticized “Friends.” learned a lot over the past 20 years.” “Admitting and accepting guilt isn’t easy,” Kaufman said. “It’s painful to look at yourself in the mirror. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know better 25 years ago.” “Friends,” which aired from 1994 to 2004, starred Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer. It had been criticized for its lack of long-running characters of color, the story wasn’t as inclusive.”Maybe there should be an all-black ‘Friends’ or an all-Asian ‘Friends,'” Schwimmer said, who played Ross for 10 seasons.” But 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 an Asian American woman, and later I dated African American women. It was a very conscious push on my part. “It didn’t sit well with some who pointed out that the all-black comedy ‘Living Single’ aired from 1993 to 1998 (before ‘Friends’ by a year’) and, like ‘Friends,’ centers on six young adults and their intertwined lives in New York City. Kauffman, who created “Friends” with David Crane, told the LA Times that she had a better understanding of systemic racism in the United States after the George Floyd murder and consequently the complaints about the show. This helped her pledge $4 million to her alma mater, Brandeis University in Boston, for the establishment of an endowed chair in the school’s African and African-American studies department. Since announcing the endowment, Kauffman has said she “didn’t Hing but love.” “It was amazing. It surprised me to some degree, because I didn’t expect the news to go this far,” she said. “I’ve had a flood of emails, texts and messages that have been nothing but supportive. I’ve had a lot of ‘It’s about time’. Not in a mean way. It’s just people recognize that it was long overdue.”

Marta Kauffman says she now understands why people criticized “Friends.”

The co-creator of the hit comedy series told the Los Angeles Times she initially thought people were unfairly targeting the sitcom because of its lack of diversity, but explained that she had “learned a lot over the past 20 years”.

“Admitting and accepting guilt is not easy,” Kaufman said. “It’s painful to look in the mirror. I’m embarrassed that I don’t know better 25 years ago.”

“Friends,” which ran from 1994 to 2004, starred Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer. It had been criticized for a long-running lack of color characters.

In 2020, Schwimmer told the Guardian he was “very aware of my privilege as a straight white male” and said “Friends” happened during a “pre-revival” period, when the story wasn’t as inclusive.

“Maybe there should be an all-black ‘Friends’ or an all-Asian ‘Friends’,” said Schwimmer, who played Ross for 10 seasons. “But 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 an American woman. of Asian descent, and later dated African American women. It was a very conscious push on my part.”

It didn’t sit well with some who pointed out that the all-black comedy “Living Single” ran from 1993 to 1998 (before “Friends” by a year) and, like “Friends,” centered on six young adults and their intertwined lives in New York.

Kauffman, who created “Friends” with David Crane, told the LA Times that she came to better understand systemic racism in the United States after the murder of George Floyd and consequently complaints about the show.

This helped her commit to pledging $4 million to her alma mater, Brandeis University in Boston, for the establishment of an endowed chair in the school’s African and African-American studies department. .

Since announcing the endowment, Kauffman has said she “has had nothing but love.”

“It’s amazing. It surprised me to some degree, because I didn’t expect the news to go this far,” she said. “I’ve had a flood of emails, text messages and messages that have been nothing but supportive. I’ve had a lot of ‘It’s about time’. Not in a mean way. It’s just people recognize that it was long overdue.