“Friends” Actress Lisa Kudrow: The Show Had “No Business” Adding Storylines About “Being A Person Of Color”


Actress Lisa Kudrow says it’s actually a good thing that “Friends” didn’t have many black people as part of the cast.

The 59-year-old actress made these statements during a recent interview with The Daily Beast. “Well, I feel like it was a show created by two people who went to Brandeis and wrote about their lives after college,” Kudrow said. 

“And for shows especially, when it’s going to be a comedy that’s character-driven, you write what you know. They have no business writing stories about the experiences of being a person of color,” she continued. “I think at that time, the big problem that I was seeing was, ‘Where’s the apprenticeship?’”

The Emmy Award-winning sitcom, which aired from 1994 to 2004, has come under fire lately for its lack of diversity in casting. Series co-creator Marta Kauffman feels so terrible about relegating black actors to bit parts that she pledged $4 million to Brandeis University to create a scholarship that would benefit black students specifically. 

“I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years,” Kauffman told the Los Angeles Times. “Admitting and accepting guilt is not easy. It’s painful looking at yourself in the mirror. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know better 25 years ago.”

“It took me a long time to begin to understand how I internalized systemic racism,” she told the university, as The Daily Wire originally reported. “I’ve been working really hard to become an ally, an anti-racist. And this seemed to me to be a way that I could participate in the conversation from a white woman’s perspective.”

Kauffman said she really started thinking about diversity after the death of George Floyd

“It was after what happened to George Floyd that I began to wrestle with my having bought into systemic racism in ways I was never aware of,” Kauffman told the LA Times. “That was really the moment that I began to examine the ways I had participated. I knew then I needed to course-correct.”

Kauffman also apologized for the treatment of Chandler’s father, who was transgender. 

“We kept referring to [Helena] as ‘Chandler’s father,’ even though Chandler’s father was trans,” Kauffman said. “Pronouns were not yet something that I understood, so we didn’t refer to that character as ‘she.’ That was a mistake.”

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