The hit 90s sit-com Friends has been no less than a cultural phenomenon and continues to be one of the most loved shows worldwide. However, the TV series, which follows the life of a group of six close friends, has also come under the scanner for its lack of diversity.
With its predominantly white cast, the show has people of colour appearing only in significantly smaller roles. Upon reflection on the criticism, the show’s creator Marta Kauffman donated $4 million to her alma mater Brandeis University to establish a fund to support scholars studying Africa and the African diaspora.
When asked about the same, Lisa Kudrow, who essayed the character of Phoebe, said, “Well, I feel like it was a show created by two people who went to Brandeis and wrote about their lives after college.”
“And for shows especially, when it’s going to be a comedy that’s character-driven, you write what you know,” she told The Daily Beast.
Kudrow added that the makers have “no business writing stories about the experiences of being a person of colour”.
In the interview, Kudrow also talked about the main cast negotiating together to all be paid the same salary while filming the show. “I don’t think that will ever happen again. It has happened a couple of times. But for me, the thing I think we should get the most credit for is the relationship we created amongst the six of us.”
Calling their bonds “respectful”, she said, “If somebody said something and you didn’t feel great about it, then you gave them the benefit of the doubt—always. It was a fantastic relationship that we all got to experience.”