Lisa Kudrow are speaking out about the lack of diversity on Friend – and the fact that she’s sitting in a chair can certainly ruffle her hair!
Over the years, the cast and creators Friend met with backlash for the lack of people of color in the popular sitcom, but now, Lisa is speaking out in defense of the show’s creators, Marta Kauffman and David Crane (top), both are white.
In a new interview with The Daily Beast on Wednesday, the actress expressed:
“I feel like it was a show created by two people who came Brandeis and write about their lives after college. And especially for shows, when it becomes a character-driven comedy, you write what you know. They are not in the business of writing stories about the experience of being a person of color. “
Brandeis is a private liberal arts college outside of Boston, where they both attend, FYI. In spite of Comeback the star is backing the creator’s decision to focus on a core group of white friends, including Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmerand Matt LeBlancShe also pointed to another major problem in the industry at the time, saying:
“I think at the time, the big problem I had was ‘Where’s the apprenticeship?'”
Correct. Mentoring programs for color ads (in front and behind the camera) help tell more stories about BIPOC!
But… the fact that the creators are white is really a good enough excuse not to have a lot of diversity on the show?? We mean, the series ran for 10 SEASONs from 1994 to 2004. Definitely in that decade, they could have hired some writers of color to help develop a range of authentic – and diverse – characters! But we guess the executives didn’t think through the matter in the midst of all their success…
That said, it’s not like the show hasn’t broken boundaries in other areas! In 2020, David told Guardians he feels the show is revolutionary for the way they depict sex and same-sex marriage – although they have their weaknesses overall. He reflects:
“The truth is that the show was groundbreaking in its day in terms of how it dealt with casual sex, protected sex, gay marriage and relationships. The show’s pilot was my character’s wife who left him for a woman and had a gay wedding, of my ex and her wife, which I attended. “
The 55-year-old actor continued:
“I feel that a lot of today’s problems in many fields are too little to be put into context. You have to look at it from the perspective of what the program is trying to do at the time. I was the first to say that maybe something was out of place or insensitive, but I felt like my barometer was pretty good at the time. I was really satisfied with social issues and equality issues. “
It’s good to have that view!
He also revealed that he “campaigned” for his character, Ross Geller, to have serious relationships with women of color, due to Lauren Tom and Aisha Tylerspeak:
“Maybe there should be an all-black color Friend or an Asian Friend. But I’m well aware of the lack of diversity, and I’ve been campaigning 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 then I dated African-American women. It was a very conscious push on my part. “
Kauffman, who also created Netflix‘S Grace & Frankiealso said Los Angeles Times in June, she did a lot of research about her past mistakes, sharing:
“It was after what happened to George Floyd that I was beginning to grapple with the fact that I had been exposed to systemic racism in ways that I never knew existed. It was really at that point that I started looking at the ways I got involved. I know then I need to fix it. “
In an effort to correct her mistake, she donated $4 million to Brandeis University’s department of African American and African American studies, commenting:
“Finally, I literally put money in my mouth.”
That’s definitely a good first step. We hope she also considers these issues when working on future shows! But what do you think, longtime readers? Does Lisa have a point?