FRIENDS Co-Creator Says, “There Were Black Shows & White Shows; There Weren’t Many Interracial Shows” On The Show Lacking Diversity
Though it has been more than a decade since the last episode of the sitcom FRIENDS was aired, the fans keep on wanting more. From a reunion special to many interviews with the cast and crew, the talks about the show still continue.
However, no matter how much love the show garnered for itself, there has always been a burning issue related to FRIENDS’ lacked diversity in its cast. All the main cast were white, almost all the supporting cast were white too except for a few.
To express her views, Martha Kauffman, the co-creator of FRIENDS explained the reason behind this. She appeared on the CNN special History of the Sitcom that brought up the common sentiment felt by a lot of people in recent years.
Sheryl Lee Ralph, former Designing Women actress expressed, “I never watched Friends because they could not possibly find a way to add anybody of color,” Martha Kauffman, who has already apologized for the show’s lack of diversity in the past gave a further explanation as to how it came on to be.
Kauffman said, “It was, to a certain extent, a product of the time period. And of my own ignorance. “There were black shows and there were white shows. There weren’t a lot of shows that were interracial.”
The show ran for ten years and had many actors and actresses play different roles but had only two non-white people, both of them were Ross’s girlfriends. David Schwimmer admitted in an interview with The Guardian last year, that he had to push for it.
Kauffman said she would have made “very different decisions” last year. She also said that the show was based on her real-life experiences. She said, “I guess at the time I was thinking, ‘This is what I know. This is what I know”.