Lisa Kudrow has offered an opinion on the Friends diversity debate and claims that the creators of the cult sitcom had “no business writing stories about people of colour”.
The actress, 59, who played Phoebe Buffay for the show’s entire 10-season run, said David Crane and Marta Kauffman wrote the series about their own personal lives and did not have the experiences of being a person of colour.
She said: “I feel like it was a show created by two people who went to Brandeis and wrote about their lives after college. And for shows especially, when it’s going to be a comedy that’s character-driven, you write what you know.
“They have no business writing stories about the experiences of being a person of colour. I think at that time, the big problem that I was seeing was, ‘Where’s the apprenticeship?’” she added to the Daily Beast.
This is not the first time that she has weighed-in on the matter.
Kudrow previously told the Sunday Times that if Friends were to made today, “it would not be an all-white cast,” adding that the show “should be looked at as a time capsule, not for what they did wrong.”
Kudrow’s latest remarks come after Kauffman recently donated $4m to boost African American Studies at Brandeis University in Boston due to “guilt” over the show’s lack of diversity.
Friends launched in 1994, but it wasn’t until 2002 that the first black actress to become a series regular was cast.
Aisha Tyler played Dr Charlie Wheeler, a paleontology professor who ended up dating Ross Geller, played by David Schwimmer, in season nine – but she only lasted nine episodes.
Kauffman told the LA Times: “I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years. 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.”
Kauffman added she regrets making the six main characters all white, but is still happy that Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry were all part of the series.