The Creator Of ‘Friends’ Is Now ‘Embarrassed’ By The Show’s Lack Of Diversity

Creator Of 'Friends' Is Now 'Embarrassed' By The Show's Lack Of Diversity

NBC/Warner Bros. Television

  • Marta Kauffman co-created the iconic sitcom Friends.
  • Kauffman says she’s now “embarrassed” by the lack of diversity in the series.
  • She’s now set up a $4 million fund at Brandeis University in an effort to make amends.

Marta Kauffman, co-creator of the iconic 90s sitcom Friends, says that she’s now “embarrassed” by the lack of diversity in the hit NBC comedy series. Friends, which ran for ten seasons from 1994 to 2004, focused on six straight, white singles in their 30s living in New York City.

As noted by IndieWire, “the most prominent person of color cast on the series was Aisha Tyler, who portrayed the love interest of Ross (David Schimmer) for nine episodes.” Other than that, virtually the entirety of the cast was portrayed by young, white actors.

Co-creator of Friends says she’s now “embarrassed” by the series’ lack of diversity

“I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years,” Kauffman told the Los Angeles Times during a recent 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.”

“It was after what happened to George Floyd that I began to wrestle with my having bought into systemic racism in ways I was never aware of,” Kauffman said. “That was really the moment that I began to examine the ways I had participated. I knew then I needed to course-correct.”[via Los Angeles Tmes]

As a result of her retrospective feelings about Friends’ lack of diversity, Kaufman has made $4 million donation to Brandeis University, her alma mater, to establish “an endowed professorship in the school’s African and African American studies department.”

All ten seasons of Friends are currently streaming over on HBO Max.

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Eric Italiano is a NYC-based writer who spearheads BroBible's Pop Culture and Entertainment content. He covers topics such as Movies, TV, and Video Games, while interviewing actors, directors, and writers.