Friends star David Schwimmer thought he had a great, forward-thinking idea to share with the world. Unfortunately for him, it was anything but. In an interview with The Guardian, the famed actor talked about folks criticizing the all-white cast of Friends, saying that folks have to look at it for how groundbreaking it was in the context of that time.
“The truth is also that show was groundbreaking in its time for the way in which it handled so casually sex, protected sex, gay marriage and relationships. The pilot of the show was my character’s wife left him for a woman and there was a gay wedding, of my ex and her wife, that I attended,” he recalled, adding “I feel that a lot of the problem today in so many areas is that so little is taken in context. You have to look at it from the point of view of what the show was trying to do at the time. I’m the first person to say that maybe something was inappropriate or insensitive, but I feel like my barometer was pretty good at that time. I was already really attuned to social issues and issues of equality.”
But then, David went on to suggest an all-Black or all-Asian reboot of Friends and Black twitter (rightfully) lost it. In case you didn’t know, Friends was inspired by the all-Black cast of Living Single. Appropriation happened.
“Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends,” he told the outlet. “But I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of colour. One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian American woman, and later I dated African American women. That was a very conscious push on my part.”
Tune into Queen Latifah speaking on Friends coming to fruition below, plus reactions to David’s suggestion.
Marc Lamont Hill had jokes…
Let’s call it what it is.
Yep, it was pretty… pale.
Long live Living Single. All five seasons are on Hulu, by the way.