According to CNN, Marta Kauffman, the co-creator of the famous series ‘Friends’, admitted to understanding why people criticize the production. Kauffman told the Los Angeles Times that she initially thought people were unfairly attacking comedy for its “lack of diversity”, but explained that she “has learned a lot in the last 20 years”.
“Admitting and accepting blame is not easy,” Kaufman said. “It’s painful to look at ourselves in the mirror. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know better 25 years ago,” she explained.
‘Friends’ – which ran from 1994 to 2004 – starred Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer and was a huge hit. However, that wasn’t enough to come out unscathed from criticism, and in recent years, the series has been criticized for its lack of characters of color.
In 2020, Schwimmer told The Guardian that he was “very aware of his privilege as a straight white male” and added that ‘Friends’ took place during a “pre-agreed” period when the story was “not so inclusive”.
“Maybe there should be an all-black ‘Friends’ or an all-Asian ‘Friends’,” believes Schwimmer, who played Ross for 10 seasons. “But I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to get Ross to date black women. That was a very conscious push on my part,” she revealed.
Kauffman, who created ‘Friends’ with David Crane, also told the Los Angeles Times that he has come to better understand systemic racism in the US after the murder of George Floyd and, consequently, the complaints about the program.
This motivated her to donate $4 million to Brandeis University in Boston for the school’s African and African-American Studies department. Since the donation was announced, Kauffman said she “has received nothing but love”.
“It’s been amazing. It surprised me to a degree, because I didn’t expect the news to be so broad,” she pointed out. “I got a barrage of emails, texts and shares that were nothing but supportive. I got a lot of, ‘It’s about time!’. Not in a petty way. It’s just people acknowledging that this was long overdue.” finished.