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'Friends' Creator Pledges $4 Million to University to Make up for Show's Lack of Diversity

By: Buzz Staff

News18.com

Last Updated: July 03, 2022, 12:28 IST

'Friends' has often been criticised for not including people of colour in their cast.

'Friends' has often been criticised for not including people of colour in their cast.

Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman said that she is embarrassed that she did not know better 25 years ago.

The co-creator of popular sitcom ‘Friends’, Marta Kauffman, has pledged $4 million to establish a professorship at the African and African American studies department of Brandeis University after facing criticism for no diversity in her show. The sitcom, released in 1994, is popular even today. However, it has often faced flak online for not including people of colour in the main cast. The show is about a bunch of friends living their lives in New York. Viewers have often commented that Friends could have included more African-American faces in their episodes that ran up to 10 seasons. Los Angeles Times reported that Kauffman now realises that the show should have been more inclusive, especially in the light of the murder of George Floyd that sparked the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. She said that she learnt a lot in the last 20 years and is admitting her guilt. The Los Angeles Times reported added that Kauffman is embarrassed that she did not know better 25 years ago.
This realisation led her to establish the professorship in her alma mater, Brandeis University in Boston. It will help scholars study the cultures of Africa and African diaspora.
Last year, the cast of Friends came together for a reunion episode. All six original cast members- Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Courteney Cox (Monica), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe), Matt LeBlanc (Joey), Matthew Perry (Chandler), and David Schwimmer (Ross)- gathered for the special on HBO Max, to honour the iconic sitcom’s 25th anniversary. During the nearly two-hour-long special, the cast headed back to the Friends Warner Bros. studio lot, testing their trivia knowledge of the show, revisiting key sets, re-reading their lines, and joining Late Night show host James Corden for a joint sit-down interview in front of a live audience. Lisa Kudrow belted out the lyrics of her character Phoebe Buffay’s infamous song ‘Smelly Cat’ while playing the guitar and sitting on the orange couch at Central Perk. She was soon joined by Lady Gaga, who appeared in a colourful outfit seemingly inspired by Phoebe’s quirky style.

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first published:July 03, 2022, 12:28 IST
last updated:July 03, 2022, 12:28 IST