How ‘Friends’ Star David Schwimmer Pushed for Diversity on the Iconic Sitcom

by Jeremy Spirogis
David Schwimmer

Friends stays as widespread as ever, with a reunion present reportedly within the works. That stated, there all the time appears to be an asterisk connected to that reputation. The Internet is full of suppose items about how the present is problematic in present instances.

Some have a problem with the transphobic jokes whereas others say the sitcom was revolutionary in even having a storyline with a transgender character. Others level out the shortage of variety — or what individuals “Friends so white.”

Not solely had been all foremost forged members Caucasian, their relationship life was racially homogenous as properly. However, David Schwimmer, who performed Ross Gellar on the sequence, stated he pushed for variety whereas the present was nonetheless on air.

Why is ‘Friends’ thought of problematic?

David Schwimmer
David Schwimmer | Noam Galai/Getty Images for AMC

Friends ran for ten seasons on NBC, with TV Guide readers voting it the Best Comedy of All Time. It was nominated for a powerful 62 Emmys, profitable Outstanding Comedy in 2002. So pervasive was the present’s cultural pull that Rachel’s coiffure was virtually a personality on the present all by itself. 

Perhaps as a result of the present hit such a nerve in a great way, there was a bent to say that it hit a nerve in a nasty means, particularly as soon as the present was over. BuzzFeed has an article itemizing “21 Times Friends was Actually Really Problematic”. One of them was the way it used lesbianism as a punchline.

Another one of many entries on the listing is, “The lack of diversity in both the main and ensemble cast.” One particular person identified: “In all 10 seasons of the show, there are only three named characters who aren’t white.”

What did David Schwimmer do for variety on ‘Friends’?

There have been so many makes an attempt to “well, actually” or “gotcha” Friends that they’ve caught the eye of the forged. Schwimmer acknowledged that sure, variety was a problem on the present, and that’s why he tried to do one thing about it. 

“I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of color,” Schwimmer informed The Guardian. “One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian-American woman, and later I dated African-American women.”

At the identical time, Schwimmer feels that the think-pieces don’t actually suppose sufficient themselves and think about the context. He stated: ” You have to take a look at it from the viewpoint of what the present was attempting to do on the time. I’m the primary particular person to say that perhaps one thing was inappropriate or insensitive, however I really feel like my barometer was fairly good at the moment.”

‘Friends’ nostalgia runs robust

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Despite the assorted controversies, Friends nostalgia runs extraordinarily robust, particularly contemplating that numerous 25th-anniversary celebrations are ongoing. The information that Friends was going to go away Netflix prompted dozens of articles as a result of that remained one of many most-watched exhibits on the streamer, regardless of Netflix’s push for its personal unique content material like Stranger Things or The Irishman

Jennifer Aniston, who performed Rachel Green on the sequence, actually broke the Internet, or Instagram a minimum of, when she debuted on that social media platform. Co-star Matthew Perry, who portrayed Chandler Bing, additionally joined Instagram to a plethora of followers and fanfare.

Now comes the information that the reunion present attracts close to to debut on HBO Max, the streamer developed by Warner Bros., that took Friends away from Netflix. Each of the six stars can be paid between $three million and $four million to look on the reunion. That sort of cash will encourage a suppose piece or two itself. 

However, this reunion can be a celebration of the previous, not a one-off continuation or reboot of the present, in response to creators Marta Kauffman and David Bright. “(A reboot is ) not going to beat what we did,” Kauffman stated. Added co-creator David Crane: “We did the show we wanted to do. We got it right, and we put a bow on it.”

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