Tyla

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK

Friends actor Lisa Kudrow addresses the lack of diversity in hit show

Gregory Robinson

Published 
| Last updated 

Friends actor Lisa Kudrow addresses the lack of diversity in hit show

Featured Image Credit: Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo/ Warner Bros

Friends star Lisa Kudrow has addressed the lack of diversity in hit show.

The 59-year-old actor played Phoebe Buffay between 1994 and 2004, one of the six pals living their best life in New York City.

Friends became a success around the world however it has been criticised for having a predominantly white main and supporting cast despite being set in the Big Apple.

Lisa Kudrow played Phoebe in Friends. Credit: Warner Bros.
Lisa Kudrow played Phoebe in Friends. Credit: Warner Bros.

Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman recently apologised over the show’s ‘embarrassing’ lack of diversity and revealed she has pledged $4m (£3.2m) to her alma mater, Brandeis University.

Kauffman’s goal is to help create an endowed professorship in the African and African American studies department.

Kudrow spoke about Kauffman’s donation in a new interview with The Daily Beast and explained why she and co-creator David Crane had ‘no business’ writing about people of colour.

"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 colour.”

Lisa Kudrow has addressed the lack of diversity in Friends. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo.
Lisa Kudrow has addressed the lack of diversity in Friends. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo.

Kauffman released a statement in June alongside her donation, which said the fund will 'support a distinguished scholar with a concentration in the study of the peoples and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora'.

In an interview with The Los Angeles Times this year about the show’s diversity problem, Kauffman said: “I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years.

“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 internalised systemic racism."

New York is one of the most notable melting pot cities in the world and Kauffman and co-creator David Crane hired an all-white main cast made up of Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry for the series.

Friends co-creator apologised for the show's lack of diversity. Credit: Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo.
Friends co-creator apologised for the show's lack of diversity. Credit: Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo.

Their characters rarely interacted with African-American, Brown, Latino or Asian characters.

Two of the main examples of ethnically diverse supporting characters were two of Ross Geller’s ex-girlfriends: Charlie Wheeler (played by Aisha Tyler) and Julie (played by Lauren Tom).

David Schwimmer told The Guardian in 2020 that he campaigned 'for years' for his character to 'date women of colour' because he was 'well aware of the lack of diversity'

He explained: “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.”

Topics: TV And Film, Friends

Gregory Robinson
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Celebrity

Game Of Thrones star Maisie Williams opens up about traumatic childhood relationship with father

2 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Emily Ratajkowski divides opinion after posting bath photos with one-year-old son

3 hours ago