The much-talked-about 'Friends' reunion came under scrutiny for not being inclusive, a criticism that the popular show has always faced.
Friends, the popular TV show originally aired for 10 seasons from 1994 through 2004 and won over fans around the world. The '90s sitcom starred Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry. Despite it being incredibly successful, over recent years the sitcom has been criticized for featuring an almost entirely white cast throughout its 10 season run, reports Yahoo News. Sadly, lessons have not been learned from the past, and thus it's unsurprising that the reunion special has faced a backlash.
The premise of the Friends reunion episode will be: the Friends still don't know any Black people.— Chris McMurray (@mcmurray_chris) May 17, 2021
We first heard about the reunion back in February 2020 by HBO Max and the special was scheduled to premiere that May, but was delayed indefinitely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But the special finally made it to the screens on May 27 on HBO Max. Ben Winston directed the special and executive produced along with Friends executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane. The original cast returned to the iconic comedy’s original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank.
The #Friends reunion special will air on HBO Max on May 27.— Film Updates (@TheFilmUpdates) May 13, 2021
Special guests include David Beckham, Justin Bieber, BTS, James Corden, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Lady Gaga, Kit Harington, Larry Hankin, Mindy Kaling, Tom Selleck, Reese Witherspoon and Malala Yousafzai. pic.twitter.com/drjev9uQSl
The special episode featured an array of guest stars also including Lady Gaga, Reese Witherspoon, and Malala Yousafzai. While the list included Asian stars Mindy Kaling, BTS, and Malala Yousafzai, people noticed that the show hadn't signed up any Black celebrities. Traceyecorder tweeted: Friends has faced decades of criticism for being unrealistically white in the middle of New York. Then they plan a reunion with 0 Black guest stars. Okay.
Where is @itsgabrielleu @aishatyler or #JanetHubert? #FriendsReunion @hbomax pic.twitter.com/9EOQmDIYMR— Chimére L. Smith (@chiluvs1) May 13, 2021
However, many fans of the show are standing up for the series, and wonder if critics are taking it too far. MrReckless94 tweeted: So now apparently the TV show friends is racist.....the friends reunion is coming up, and the producer has had a ton of crap because they haven’t made a black friend yet.....like wtf? I’m fully against racism, this is just ridiculous though. rogueAelfinn responded: People feel that way not because they haven’t made a Black friend but because the reunion will have 25 non-Black guest stars and Black people were virtually non-existent over 9 seasons.
'As a Black woman, I can assure you – we love Friends just as much as the next fan so it’s massively disappointing to see that we’ve been left out once again.'@aliciaadejobi writes for @MetroUKhttps://t.co/peSblehkBy— Platform by Metro.co.uk (@MetroOpinion) May 17, 2021
Friends creator Marta Kauffman previously expressed regret at not having used a more diverse cast. At the 2020 ATX Festival, she said, "I wish I knew then what I know today. "Sorry, I just wish I knew then what I know now. I would’ve made very different decisions. I mean we’ve always encouraged people of diversity in our company, but I didn’t do enough and now all I can think about is what can I do? What can I do differently? How can I run my show in a new way? And that’s something I not only wish I knew when I started show running, but I wish I knew all the way up through last year."
Friends co-creator admits she ‘didn’t do enough’ to encourage diversity | Ents & Arts News - https://t.co/v8WJWsbT19— Eric Thompson (@isearch247) June 9, 2020
One of the creators of Friends has admitted she “didn’t do enough” to encourage diversity on the hit TV comedy.
Marta Kauffman co-created the much-loved sitc... pic.twitter.com/pmkTKAPHUx