‘Friends’ co-creater Marta Kauffman is ’embarrassed’ about the all-white cast

I’m old enough to remember watching Friends when it originally aired on NBC. The show started when I was in high school and finished when I was out of college. While the 1990s were – perhaps – the golden years of Black leads in sitcoms, back in the 1990s, television was still pretty segregated. There were “white shows” and “Black shows.” Friends was a white show, with an all-white ensemble and only a handful of guest appearances by people of color. The conversations about Friends’ lack of inclusion was discussed in real time, and David Schwimmer has spoken at length about how he was always trying to convince producers to hire more Black and Asian-American guest stars. I think Friends’ all-white aesthetic probably would have aged poorly regardless, but the show’s resurgent popularity on streaming and reruns has extended those conversations indefinitely, as new generations fall in love with a series which was sometimes problematic and definitely not inclusive. Now one of the show-runners and co-creators is saying: okay, I get it, my bad.

Marta Kauffman remembers being bothered: Why were so many people picking on “Friends”? Kauffman felt “Friends” was being unfairly singled out, claiming there was too much attention on the near-absence of Black people and other people of color: “It was difficult and frustrating.”

But now, Kauffman says, she gets it. In the last few years, Kauffman — who is also the co-creator of Netflix’s recently concluded “Grace and Frankie,” starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin — has had a dramatic change of heart, and she now feels that the criticisms about “Friends” were fair.

The series’ failure to be more inclusive, Kauffman says, was a symptom of her internalization of the systemic racism that plagues our society, which she came to see more clearly in the aftermath of the 2020 murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and the worldwide protest movement that erupted around it.

That reckoning was the catalyst for her decision to pledge $4 million to her alma mater, the Boston area’s Brandeis University, to establish an endowed professorship in the school’s African and African American studies department.

“I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years,” Kauffman said in a Zoom interview. “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. ”

The Marta F. Kauffman ’78 Professorship in African and African American Studies at the private research university will support a distinguished scholar with a concentration in the study of the peoples and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora. The gift will also assist the department to recruit more expert scholars and teachers, map long-term academic and research priorities and provide new opportunities for students to engage in interdisciplinary scholarship.

Since the announcement, Kauffman said, “I’ve gotten nothing but love. It’s been amazing. It surprised me to some extent, because I didn’t expect the news to go this wide. I’ve gotten a flood of emails and texts and posts that have been nothing but supportive. I’ve gotten a lot of ‘It’s about time.’ Not in a mean way. It’s just people acknowledging it was long overdue.”

[From The LA Times]

Here’s the thing – while people have every right to criticize the lack of diversity on Friends, Marta Kauffman also had the right to make the (all-white) show she wanted to make. I think people can recognize that, right? Marta Kauffman put together the show she wanted to make and it worked at the time. Some of the criticism genuinely IS unfair, because the humor and lack of inclusivity “date” the show and make for uncomfortable viewing twenty years later, and applying 2022 standards on something made in 1995 will almost always have uncomfortable results. What bugs me is that Marta couldn’t just shrug and say “yeah, we really could have done that differently and I’m sorry, my bad, but the television industry was just different back then.” Why did she get her back up so much? As for her donation to Brandeis – well, at least something good came from it. Sure, it was white-guilt money, but who cares. It will help the university and the students.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instagram.

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72 Responses to “‘Friends’ co-creater Marta Kauffman is ’embarrassed’ about the all-white cast”

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  1. C says:

    I’m glad she is backing up her regret with money; it’s the way to do it.

    I’ve said this before but I will die on this hill, you can’t tell me Friends was the worst and most demographically insular 90’s show while being on the air with Home Improvement and Everybody Loves Raymond, lol (but that just has more to do with my visceral hatred of both)

    • Sue E Generis says:

      Minor quibble, but Raymond was set on Long Island which, realistically, is incredibly segregated. And ‘Home Improvement’ was set in Michigan, also very segregated. While Friends was in NYC so it was really obvious that it was whitewashed.

      • C says:

        I can see that, and understand your general point. Just as an addition, it was set in Greenwich Village which even into the 2000’s was 80 percent white (going off of Census info here, so I can be corrected if I’m wrong). And there’s the whole thing of most white people not having any Black friends at all.
        So while it’s crappy and gross and still racist, I can’t think it was that inaccurate? But I was a kid when it was on so I can’t say for sure and anyone can correct me obviously.
        But obviously not an aspirational setup or decent representation at all.

      • Ciotogista says:

        Raymond was set in my hometown, Lynbrook. Part of Lynbrook feeds into one of the few integrated school districts on Long Island, which was the subject of a landmark desegregation case. That’s the school district I attended. Raymond didn’t focus on the kids at all, but it certainly would have been realistic to include a more diverse cast. Of course, Patricia Heaton was cast because the suits wanted someone more white bread with Ray Romano, so they were nervous about even having an Italian-American cast.

      • DeniseMich says:

        Nope. Someone who was there in the 1990s

        Friends was NOT indicative of the W. Village in the 1990s.

        Diverse teenagers frequented the village in the 1990s. The first NYC Urban Outfitters was there. So the fact that minorities were barely in the backdrop of friends was an issue and not reflective of society at large.

        Blacks, Gays, Asians…

        Watched the show, loved it but definitely not inclusive.

        Also, please don’t forget Seinfeld was happening at the same time AND not inclusive either.

        The scholarship for blacks named after a white woman sounds bad.. seems thirsty and privileged.

    • Becks1 says:

      Yeah I think there is a difference between a show set in a suburban neighborhood and a show set in Manhattan in terms of diversity. Suburbs often tend to be very segregated.

      • C says:

        Yeah. Most white people separate themselves anyway, but I understand.
        I don’t care for Friends so I’m not trying to defend it.

      • OddlyEnuff says:

        As a POC, was NEVER attracted to watching five shiny white roommates w basic lives. Tho, back that time, didn’t have this lexicon to explain the reverse magnet & have never seen one full episode

    • Kitten says:

      God I HATED those two shows, C.

      I don’t think Friends has held up well but I also don’t think that a bunch of relatively well-off white people self-segregating in a diverse city is all that unusual, sadly. I mean, I think Friends should have had a diverse cast because I think all casts should be diverse, but the storyline centering around a small group of insular, self-involved whites bonding over their shared neuroses is probably more realistic than folks want to admit.

      • Honey says:

        Never watched Friends either. It didn’t appeal to me on any level. Neither did Seinfeld. However, I think Friends was/is representative of Marta Kauffman’s life and world at that time. I guess that’s what she is pretty much saying (perhaps?). I don’t know but I’m thinking one of the reasons that she didn’t get it was because she couldn’t see beyond her own world—uptight, upper middle-class, almost exclusively white (friends, family, professional and socially), self-absorbed neurotics—much like that Lena Dunham (?) woman. Didn’t she have a series somewhat mirroring Friends?

    • Fabiola says:

      I think all the shows in the 80s and 90s were either black or white. I’m not sure why people are only picking on Friends. I still enjoy Friends and Living Single. The only other show I can think of that was more diverse was King of Queens but that was much later in the 2000s

    • BlackToyPoodle says:

      Oh, don’t even wind me up on my diatribe about Full House.
      I went to high school in SF in early 80s. I knew of 3 white guys in my high school out of 1800 students. Majority of my friends were Asian, the neighborhood was Hispanic. Plus we had a good amount of Pacific Islander and a lot of other ethnicities. According to a teacher the school was 2% Caucasian. Corner groceries (bodega type) were frequently run by Palestinians. And they typically knew each other or were related. Everyone had some 3rd hand connection with everyone else. Our cheer squad was Black and Filipino. One of the other schools complained that our soccer team ran plays/communicated in Spanish on the field and they didn’t understand. (HAHAHAH!)
      And we all agape when the big white girls (tall, athletic, blonde) from Marin came into the City to shop downtown on the weekends. Exotic people from across the bridge.

      When my friends and I saw Full House we all had the same reaction “WTF??”

  2. blackfemmebot says:

    White people are always “embarrassed” or “regretful” after the fact, sorry if we (POC) just don’t buy it.

    • Sue E Generis says:

      I think she sincerely feels uncomfortable. I don’t think she’s particularly interested in using that to change the way she engages with the world. I think she just wants the discomfort to go away. She gave until it hurt, so now she can pat herself on the back as ‘one of the good ones’ and move on.

  3. E.A says:

    I don’t know if this is unpopular take, but I see nothing wrong with the cast, maybe because I’m not American but I think its realistic. There were always ethnic people in the show maybe as guest or background for me to know it was “New York”.

    • Wilma says:

      New York has always been way more diverse than Friends shows. I remember this being a point of discussion back then too. It really was noticeable how white Friends New York was compared to real New York.

    • Very important othered person says:

      New York City is nothing without the immigrants and POC who built it. I feel sorry for people who don’t know better; read about the history of the city it’s interesting. NYC is and has always been a true cultural melting pot. The fact that this show didn’t care to show non-white people in larger roles (or much at all) is and was without a doubt shameful and disturbing. I can tell you as someone who was born and raised in NYC it’s impossible to live there without knowing people of every extraction.
      Here’s a thought for everyone who considers this show good: Do you have any non-white friends?
      If the answer is no then this may be why you think Friends is “good”

      • sunny says:

        you have to try deliberately to make New York so white. The cast was perfect but even at the time it was shocking how white they made the city. Like, everywhere was white. I’m not mad the friend circle was not diverse as that was probably realistic but not even knowing POCs as acquaintances? Christ.

        And I’m less bothered by her shame as a motivator and thinking about how Friends was made to be a white palatable version of the black sitcom, Living Single. Living Single but make it white….

      • Sue E Generis says:

        As a New Yorker myself, I agree. I’m not saying non-white people had to be included in the main cast, but almost everyone was almost always lily white – bosses, co-workers, clients, people walking on the street, neighbors, taxi drivers and other service people. That is impossible in NYC.

      • Blithe says:

        I never watched Friends — or Sex in the City, for that matter. I lived in NYC for many years, through the mid-90s. At one point, I lived in the actual apartment complex that was used as the home of one of the main characters in Friends. You had to work, really really hard, especially in NYC, to create a world that white.

        Good on Kauffman for having a wake-up moment, and for doing something about it, and for talking so publicly about her realizations and her growth.

        As others have said, if she —or anyone— wants to create an all-white world to realize their artistic vision, or whatever, they have every right to do so. My issue is that they deliberately chose one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the US, and ignored or erased all of that to create their idealized setting for their show. That took a lot of blindness and probably thousands of very deliberate decisions. Instead of reflecting NYC, they bleached it for export. And “bleaching” and lack of representation in media is both consciously and unconsciously very powerful, and very noxious.

        As a Black woman, I ignore shows that ignore me. But, since many of us learn about the wider world as well as ourselves via media, it sucks when reality gets whitewashed.

        tldr: Good for her. Glad she finally “gets it”. Hope she shares her realizations with her friends.

      • Fabiola says:

        Does it make a difference if I don’t have any white friends yet I still like Friends?

    • Barbie1 says:

      The actors they chose for the core cast were perfect for their roles though and they made the show a huge hit

    • Carmen says:

      Friends was supposed to be located in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Manhattan. So why was it wall to wall white people?

      • Justwastingtime says:

        Yeah, I too lived there during the Friends era. I have never watch an episode all the way through, at some point I have to click off as it’s just too… bland. it’s like NYC devoid of race and color and interest… they could have been based in a suburban Ohio town.

  4. Becks1 says:

    At least she’s backing it up with money at this point.

    Friends lack of diversity is stunning looking back, especially since it was based in NYC which is so diverse, but honestly its the humor that makes me so uncomfortable with it now. Homophobic, sexist, belittling…… it still has its moments but there are so many lines that are pure cringe now, and probably were at the time.

    • Merricat says:

      +1. A lot of humor does not age well.

      • BlinkB says:

        When I rewatched it about 5/6 years ago, I was shocked to see that there literally isn’t a single episode that goes by without Chandler saying / doing something homophobic. It’s a lot. Same with Sex and the City. They have not aged well at all!

  5. Noki says:

    I honestly enjoyed Friends the way it was, i think if you added a token cast member here and there it would have cheapened the authenticity.That it was 6 white friends who lived near each other and that happened to be the chemistry between them. The same with Martin,Living Single etc they were perfectly cast.

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      They did add token characters here and there—and we felt every bit of it. (Julie, Charlie, etc.) Notice how they were paired with Schwimmee because he was the only one bothered but the exclusive whiteness.

      You can absolutely make all white shows if you want. But don’t set them in NYC (ew, Girls, SATC). Or please don’t bring in a tokenized POC character you have no idea what to do with and end up stereotyping or sexualizing because you don’t have a clue how to write for them. (See all of the above.)

    • Becks1 says:

      I don’t think the issue is necessarily the 6 core characters. I mean that’s part of it, but to me the bigger issue is that these 6 white people interact with other white people 99% of the time and black people were often just used for comic relief (Monica’s co-chef in the first season, Sherri Shepherd and the snack pack scene). there were two black love interests – Gabrielle Union who was only in one (maybe two?) episodes, and then Charlie/Aisha Tyler near the end, and the only Asian character was Julie in season 2. I might be missing one or two bit parts, but the show was overwhelmingly white in every way. None of them worked with an Asian or Black person (someone that we might have seen more than in the background?) No one else in their building was non-white? None of the women ever dated a non-white man IIRC.

      • GR says:

        @becks1 – Yes, exactly. And were there ever any latinx characters?
        If you want to set a show in New York because it’s exciting or glamorous or whatever, you have to tell the truth, which is that NY is exciting *because* there are so many different kinds of people here.

      • Becks1 says:

        @GR – no, not that I can remember!

  6. Levans says:

    Friends, is and will always be, an all white knock off of Living Single. Living Single needs to get more flowers for paving the way!

    Also on the point of shows being segregated, even in 1995, it was a problem. Shows were considered “Black shows” on “black networks” like UPN because mainstream shows/networks didn’t have representation, so it was a necessity. Even on black shows there was more often than not a white reoccurring character. Because there can’t be a world in the US where black people don’t interact with white people but apparently plenty of places where there are no black people for white people to interact with.

    IMHO Friends suck!

    • Rapunzel says:

      Living Single was a better show too. True story.

    • Fabiola says:

      Wasn’t Living Single a knock off of the golden girls? Khadijah is Dorothy, Sinclair is Rose, Max is Sofia and Regine is Blanche. It was still a great show but it was not the original.

      • Deering24 says:

        Living Single holds up way better than Friends–and was way better written.

  7. Sue E Generis says:

    Not sure how useful yet another program in Black People studies will be. Using that money for scholarships or rehabilitating ex felons or something more thoughtful would have actually been more helpful. Or better yet, opening up more opportunities for non-white creators in her business. It sounds like she recognized her internalized racism and threw lots of money at it to make herself feel better and make the guilty feeling go away instead of really taking the time to thoughtfully consider how she could make a more personal and immediate impact.

    • Levans says:

      Actually it is very important to teach African and African American studies at every college for all students.

      • Sue E Generis says:

        Not my point at all. I’m saying those departments and positions already exist and there’s a plethora of work already. That money will create employment for maybe 1 or 2 Black people and I bet support staff will be mostly/all white. My point is there are so many more truly impactful and thoughtful ways to deploy those resources.

    • Eurydice says:

      Probably, this donation serves several needs. Brandeis has a rocky financial history and there have been diversity issues as well. So, as an alumna, Kauffman comes in with a chunk of money, now there’s a professorship in African and African American studies, and she can assuage whatever guilt she feels. That’s pretty much how fund-raising works – what does the university need, what does the donor need, and put them together.

      • Sue E Generis says:


      • Levans says:

        Was this an existing program within the school? Does this donation elevate the importance of African and African American studies within the college? Then it is absolutely important no matter how many of these programs exist across the country at other schools. All college students, particularly those at PWI, need to see African and African American studies as a core part of academic rigor.

        It is a patronizing to suggest all dollars should go towards helping all ex felons (unless you are assuming that all ex felons are black).

      • Sue E Generis says:

        Obviously I didn’t mean all ex felons, but a disproportionate number of ex felons are Black because of excessive and unjustly applied sentencing, or wrongful incarceration. That’s reality – read about the 13th amendment, school to prison pipeline etc. I just didn’t feel like typing out a mini thesis.

      • Levans says:

        It wasn’t obvious but more to the point, funding should go to both. Why do you view her donation to elevate an African and African American professorship as not or less worthy? Perhaps if she would have taken such a class or coursework she would have realized that even in 1995 it was a problem to create what is basically a show with all white characters in one of the most diverse cities in the world.

  8. Somanysarahs says:

    The lack of inclusivity doesn’t just “date” the show – it was (as mentioned above) widely discussed at the time. It’s bull$hit for Marta Kauffman to try to say she “didn’t know better” – even if she was somehow oblivious to the public and media discussing it, David Schwimmer was openly advocating for more diversity throughout the show’s run.

    • Sue E Generis says:

      Let’s give her her due on this. She admitted it was her own internalized racism that drove her response at the time and that now she sees it.

    • upstatediva says:

      I grew up in the same town and went to the same suburban high school as Marta Kauffman. We just missed each other in attendance and in the same “alternative” theatre group. The difference between us: I was the only Black student in the space (the ’70s). Not trying to either praise or blame, but I do think that she probably never thought about race in her everyday young life. I always thought it was odd that the Friends world was so white when the streets of Manhattan (where I also lived after college) were so not. A friend group of only white young people was not (and is not) unusual — but setting that group in Manhattan that involves no work friends or casual acquaintances of color at that time shows a lack of consciousness and awareness of social reality. Most media folks hopefully will go forth and do better than they did in the ’90s.

      • Emmitt says:

        The majority of the scenes on FRIENDS happened in either Monica’s apartment or Joey’s apartment —where random POC (or anyone) would not be. There were a few POC characters on the show and they did have non-white extras in the coffee shop:

        Monica’s chef coworker (Jenifer Lewis)

        The security guard at Ross’s job (Sherri Sheppard)

        Chandler’s boss at the data place (played by the guy who played the professor on the Parkers)

        Julie & Kristen

        One of Ross’ professor colleagues was black (during the time he was dating the little girl)

        Chandler’s fellow intern and boss at the advertising agency were black

        I’m watching a Season 2 episode now and there’s a black barista working with Gunther and a POC man sitting on the sofa on the far wall. There’s also a POC man sitting at the table sipping coffee with a white woman. There also appears to be an elderly black woman reading a paper by the window.

        The problem isn’t there were not POC background characters. The problem is and always has been the 6 leads were all white and they got all the fame and accolades and money shows like Living Single never got.

  9. Bettyrose says:

    At the time it was a big deal that it had Jewish characters. Seinfeld did it first but it was still pretty rare in the mid nineties. But we were into the 00 s by the time friends introduced a leading black character and they did it so badly. “You go girl!” “You’ve never said that before in your life, have you?” Make it stop. I can’t even watch this awful cringe.

    • Emmitt says:

      Yes, Ross, Rachel and Monica were Jewish. Whenever shows like FRIENDS and SATC forced a black character on the show it was always pretty bad.

  10. Tanesha86 says:

    I never got into Friends because of the lack of representation. Living Single, which Friends was based on, is the superior show anyway. I hope in addition to the endowment she’s also making an effort to create more diverse characters moving forward. And just in case it isn’t obvious yes, I am a Black woman

    • SophieJara says:

      Same. My mother thought that tv would undermine creativity and artistic development and so I wasn’t allowed to watch it growing up. When I finally started watching TV in high school, as a New Yorker, it was deeply unsettling. New York is like 1/3 white!! I don’t know *anyone* who had mostly white friends, I’m sure those people exist, but not in the service industry. I think white people who grew up with tv get used to it, but if you’re not used to it it is very surreal and gross. Where are the Puerto Ricans, Haitians, Samoans, Koreans, Filipinos, Senegalese???

  11. Michael says:

    Seinfeld was on at the same time and also was very white but Seinfeld did address racial issues in a funny and semi-daring way (Like when Julia’s Character was dating a guy she thought was black and was excited about it until she learned he was actually white) Friends never had the nerve to address that head-on. Big Bang Theory is like the modern version of Friends and also very white (Raj excluded) but also addressed it in humor on the show. Friends could have done that but it was never part of their thinking. All white cast; all white writers (I think a black female writer was part of the show for a while but she was treated like shit if I recall) so it was very insular and nobody thought about the world outside their bubble

    • Debbie says:

      Seinfeld actually had people of many different backgrounds on the show, to the point where it felt like New York and not forced diversity. There was a Pakistani restauranteur on Seinfeld, a Caribbean marathoner, gays, Elaine dated an Indian man, Jerry or one of the other guys dated a Chinese woman, and Jerry dated a Native American in one episode, etc. And these guest characters were just as bizarre sometimes as the main characters so there was some cohesion. So, even if someone’s core group of friends is their own race, it felt more like the characters interacted with a variety of people they’d meet in N.Y.

      • CourtneyB says:

        Yes. And that’s friends’ real glaring oversight. As others have said, nothing inherently wrong with 6 white leads. If that’s your experience, that’s it. But it’s nyc and the background was so white too. Seinfeld at least showed 4 white friends living in nyc. Friends could’ve been set in Omaha. (No offense to Omaha, it’s a great city. I lived there. But it was very white.)

      • Bex says:

        What is “forced” diversity?

  12. Getemstros says:

    Actually I think the 70’s and early 80’s were the height of Black-led comedy shows. I was white as white growing up in a small town and my favorite shows were Jefferson’s, Good Times, Living Color, Samford and Son, etc. not to mention ground-breaking shows like All in the Family that talked about racism in a frank way. These shows were mainly Black actors with a few token goofy whites, yet mainstream Americans didn’t consider them Black tv, it just great tv.the 70’s/early 80’s were a great time to grow up. I really felt things were getting better, yet these days there seems to be more racism in that everyone is identifying as their color or gender rather than their character. Sigh. I thought we would be over this by now… We are all humans! I know it isn’t that simple, but it should be…

  13. Ana170 says:

    I don’t see how it’s unfair. The show received criticism at the time for being out of touch. A show set in New York that somehow only had white people was ridiculous. Also the criticism was not necessarily that none of the main cast were black or brown. It’s not unusual for friend groups to segregate. The show didn’t even hire black or Latino extras. As someone said at the time: “Apparently black people don’t drink coffee.”

  14. Mary Richards says:

    This show was a complete knockoff in every way of Living Single, a better show about a group of successful black friends with their handsome black male friends living across the hall. It was fine that they had no white friends and it was fine that the Friends had no black friends. That is life folks, get over it.

  15. Thoughts says:

    I didn’t like Friends when it originally aired, and then last year I decided to give it a chance and watched a Friends marathon. The show was based in New York City and everywhere they went everyone was white. If they were at the coffee shop, everyone was white inside the coffee shop. If they were at a restaurant, everyone was white. If they were at JFK airport, everyone was white at the airport and on the plane. If they were at work, everyone was white. If they were watching Joey perform a play, everyone in the play and at the theatre was white. Then on rare occasions they threw in a Black or Asian love interest and it felt fake.

    So, I think the criticism is valid, but I don’t like her white guilt approach. And it’s not about the show aging poorly and being judged by 2022 standards, it was criticized back then, but people are more vocal now about any issue because of social media.

    • Beverley says:

      Yes it was roundly criticized back then. I have to side-eye grownups who insist they didn’t know any better 20 years ago. We’re talking 2002, not 1952. Any middle-aged person claiming today that they didn’t understand the dynamics around race “back then”- and Hollywood’s ongoing issues around diversity – are, in my opinion, being disingenuous.

  16. tealily says:

    Yes, Friends was crushingly white. It was also unrealistic in a million other ways. So yeah. That’s what Friends was.

  17. Beverley says:

    Never could be bothered with FRIENDS. Watched 2 episodes, and that was after they brought in Aisha Tyler as a love interest for Ross and Joey. As a New Yorker, it seemed light-years away from the NYC I know. Greenwich Village has never been all-white, NEVER.

    But whatevs. It was apparently important for the creator and the industry Powers-That-Be to create an all-white New York City. As Kaiser pointed out, this was an era of decidedly segregated TV shows and viewership (with the exception of The Cosby Show, which was Number One for years).

  18. Well Wisher says:

    Friends was a knock off of “Living Single”, which was created and based on Yvette Lee Bowser, its creator’s biography.
    NBC’s CEO saw the show and asked that it be replicated.
    My personal regret is that Living Single only last for 5 seasons, it was much watch television. I used to actually watch Fox at one time.
    It was funny, topical with well rounded characters with good writing.
    I am not sure that the cast and crew was remunerated as well as could be.

  19. Bumbles says:

    It is never unfair to criticize the racism of the past, even though I am looking at it through a 2022 lens. This is because racism is always wrong, anytime, anyplace, like cruelty is always wrong, anytime, anyplace. It isn’t unfair, to criticize, it is unfortunate that people just don’t accept the criticism and feel they have to defend this behaviour.

  20. Thelma says:

    Only watched one episode. Lived in Manhattan for five years in the nineties while in grad school and the show bore no resemblance to the NY I knew or the friends I had (a nice d8verse group). Friends was just self indulgent entitlement TV to me. As many have already said, you ha4d to really work hard to make NY that white. Crazy.

  21. Emmitt says:

    This “FRIENDS DIDN’T HAVE NO DIVERSITY” is silly. Neither did Martin or Living Single. There’s always going to be depiction arguments around these tv shows. White Gen Xers hung around other white Gen Xers. Black Gen Xers hung around other black Gen Xers. Gen X is the very first generation in American history to not have to live under the rules of legal segregation, but people still lived in segregated communities —of course the FRIENDS were all white. Marta Kaufman and the cast really shouldn’t apologizing for what was common in the 90s (and quite frankly, present times).

    • House of No says:

      It’s clear you never watched Martin or Living Single because they had white and nonwhite characters on both shows, and not just one-offs either.

      Your post is incredibly silly.

  22. B says:

    In the 90’ diversity was present in many films, but in sitcoms it was „white shows” and „black shows” and it didn’t bother most people back then as they watched both. I don’t thing it was good, but it was typical for that time. In fact people did lived in more separated groups. The problem started when it got more viewers, and during 10 years of filming times changed. That’s why they put Charlie on stage. But her part was not written well, they made her to perfect from the others. Despite that it’s fair to say that „whites” in the show are not one group. You have 2 Jews, Joey from poor imigrant familly (from Italy) and Phoebe from white but very poor (probably alkoholic) familly. It was also quite modern in some parts for ex. Chandlers father was transsexual. I don’t think revision is a good way of looking at those sitcoms. More important how to make new ones.