Marta Kauffman Admits She ‘Didn’t Do Enough’ For Diversity On ‘Friends’
Lack of diversity on 'Friends' has been pointed out by several people.
I don’t think that there is any show on Earth that has been watched and binged more than ‘Friends‘. However, there is one aspect of that show that has raised a lot of concerned eyebrows around the world. And it is especially concerning at a time when the Black Lives Matter Movement is at its peak. And that is the lack of diversity on ‘Friends‘. Moreover, co-creator Marta Kauffman admits that she ‘didn’t do enough’ to make the show more diverse.
Kauffman admits to lack of diversity on ‘Friends‘
In a virtual panel interview, Marta Kauffman was asked about what she wished she had known when she started working on TV shows. She said:
I just wish I knew then what I know now. I would’ve made very different decisions.
Now, ‘Friends‘ has been at the center of criticism for some time now due to its lack of diversity. It’s so bad that even the cast members of ‘Friends‘ have criticized the show about it. Kauffman said:
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 show-running, but I wish I knew all the way up through last year.
However, Kauffman wasn’t the only one who had something to say about the lack of diversity on ‘Friends‘. The cast has had their say too.
The cast has pointed at a lack of racial representation too
Apart from Marta Kauffman, the ‘Friends‘ cast has also spoken on many occasions about the lack of diversity on the show. David Schwimmer, who played Ross, said in an interview earlier this year that:
Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends. But I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross 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. That was a very conscious push on my part.”
Moreover, Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe on the show, said that despite the issue of diversity on ‘Friends‘, the show was a good representation 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.
It’s totally understandable that some old shows aren’t as diverse as modern shows are. After all, they can only be a representation of their own times. However, it’s important to highlight these factors, like the lack of diversity on ‘Friends‘. It helps in avoiding such problems in the future and making the audience aware of such biases.