Friends star Lisa Kudrow spoke of the lack of diversity in the famed NBC sitcom, saying that the show’s creators, David Crane and Marta Kauffman, “had no business writing stories about the experiences of a person of color too.” are’ given their backgrounds.
The 59-year-old actress spoke about the subject in a story with The everyday beast Wednesday, more than two years after she said the series had no representation in its 10 seasons.
Kudrow, who played Phoebe Buffay in the 1994-2004 comedy, said Crane and Kauffman were producing content that they knew about from their personal lives.
The latest: Friends star Lisa Kudrow, 59, spoke about the lack of diversity in the famed NBC sitcom, saying the show’s creators, David Crane and Marta Kauffman, “had no business writing stories about the experiences.” of a person of color’ when considering their backgrounds. The star was cut in LA last March
“I feel like it was a show made by two people who went to Brandeis and wrote about their lives after college,” Kudrow said. And especially for shows, when it becomes a comedy that is character driven, you write what you know.
“They have nothing to do with writing stories about the experiences of a person of color. I think at that time the big problem I saw was, ‘Where’s the apprenticeship?’
Kudrow previously said in a May 2020 interview with the Sunday Times that if there were a current incarnation of the series, “it certainly wouldn’t be an all-white cast,” adding that the show “should be seen as a time capsule, not for what they did wrong.”
Kauffman, 65, told the Los Angeles Times in June that she focused on incorporating diversity into her work going forward.
Friends executive producer Kevin Bright and creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane were photographed in support of the series at a 2019 event in NYC.
The hit series, starring (LR) Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox and Matt LeBlanc, ran from 1994-2004
“I want to make sure from now on that in every production I make, I consciously hire people of color and actively go after young writers of color,” she said. “I want to know that I’m going to behave differently from now on. And then I feel unburdened.’
She said it was initially “difficult and frustrating” to hear criticism of the series for the show’s lack of representation.
Kauffman said that in an effort to right the wrongs, she made a $4 million donation to Brandeis University for the creation of the Marta F. Kauffman ’78 Professorship in African and African American Studies. It is intended to “support a distinguished scholar with a concentration in the study of the peoples and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora.”
Kudrow said of Friends, “I feel like it was a show made by two people who went to Brandeis and wrote about their lives after college.” She was photographed in June in LA
Kauffman made a $4 million donation to Brandeis University earlier this year in creating the Marta F. Kauffman ’78 Professorship in African and African American Studies
Kauffman said the 2020 murder of George Floyd marked a turning point in her awareness of systemic racism and how the popular series might have played into it.
“It was after what happened to George Floyd that I started to struggle with the fact that I had bought into systemic racism in ways I was never aware of,” Kauffman told the paper. “That was really when I started exploring the ways I had participated. I knew then that I had to correct course.’
The series starred white actors Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer. Among the artists of color who appeared in the series were Aisha Tyler, Gabrielle Union, Lauren Tom, Craig Robinson and Mark Consuelos.
Kauffman said she has ‘learned a lot in the past 20 years’ and has been ’embarrassed’ [she] didn’t know any better 25 years ago.’
She noted, “It’s not easy to admit and accept guilt. It’s painful to look at yourself in the mirror.’