"Friends" star Lisa Kudrow says if the popular sitcom were created today, it would be "completely different", starting off with a more inclusive cast.
With the reruns on TV and memes on social media, the younger generation which has discovered the show in recent years has accused it of having "problematic" storylines, with many describing it as transphobic, homophobic, sexist, and lacking diversity.
The actor, who played the oddball Phoebe Buffay over the 10-season run of the cult NBC series, defended the show saying that "Friends" was a "very progressive" show when seen in the context of the year 1994, when it aired.
Asked what the show be like if it was created today, Kudrow told The Sunday Times, "Oh, it'd be completely different. It would not be an all-white cast, for sure. I'm not sure what else, but, to me, it should be looked at as a time capsule, not for what they did wrong."
"Also, this show thought it was very progressive. There was a guy whose wife discovered she was gay and pregnant, and they raised the child together? We had surrogacy too. It was, at the time, progressive," the actor added.
She said that the reason the show is still so popular is because "young people have this unconscious nostalgia for personal connection".
Kudrow, along with the other five stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer, were set to shoot for the much-anticipated "Friends" reunion special, which has been suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus-led production shutdown.
The 56-year-old actor also teased details of the special, set to air on HBO Max.
"No audience has seen us together since the show was over. 'We will reminisce, talk about what was going on behind the scenes. It's not us playing our characters. It's not an episode. It's not scripted. It's six of us coming together for the first time in I don't know how long.
"I am really looking forward to it, because I think that I remember things, but then I talk to Matt or Jennifer, and they remember everything. It's really fun," she said.
Kudrow will next be seen in Netflix's satirical series "Space Force", alongside Steve Carell.
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