Actress Lisa Kudrow has a much different opinion regarding the alleged controversy of a lack of diversity on “Friends” than the TV show’s co-creator.
“Friends” co-creator Marta Kauffman felt guilty about not having enough diversity on her massively successful NBC sitcom set in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. In June, she announced that she was making a generous donation.
“I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years,” Kauffman said during an 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.”
Kauffman alleged that the George Floyd protests opened her eyes to racism.
“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 told the Los Angeles Times. “That was really the moment that I began to examine the ways I had participated. I knew then I needed to course-correct.”
“It took me a long time to begin to understand how I internalized systemic racism,” she continued. “I’ve been working really hard to become an ally, an anti-racist. And this seemed to me to be a way that I could participate in the conversation from a white woman’s perspective.”
Kauffman paid for her perceived sins by pledging to donate $4 million to Brandeis University – her alma mater. The money will fund an endowed chair position in the African and African American Studies Department at the school.
Previously, Kauffman also apologized for not properly addressing a transgender character in the sitcom.
“We kept referring to [Helena] as ‘Chandler’s father,’ even though Chandler’s father was trans,” Kauffman genuflected. “Pronouns were not yet something that I understood, so we didn’t refer to that character as ‘she.’ That was a mistake.”
However, Kudrow has a different outlook on the diversity predicament of the television show that started in 1994 and ended in 2004.
Kudrow, 59, was asked about Kauffman’s comments about the lack of diversity on “Friends” during an interview with The Daily Beast.
“Well, I feel like it was a show created by two people who went to Brandeis and wrote about their lives after college,” Kudrow began. And for shows especially, when it’s going to be a comedy that’s character-driven, you write what you know.”
Kudrow stressed, “They have no business writing stories about the experiences of being a person of color.”
The actress did add, “I think at that time, the big problem that I was seeing was, ‘Where’s the apprenticeship?’”
During the interview, Kudrow declared that she steers clear of politics.
“I’ll say this, though: I don’t like talking politics a lot because no good can come of it,” “The Comeback” star said. “But I also think it’s important to understand that there’s maybe half the country that feels a certain way.”
“There’s no virtue in politics, is what I’m saying,” she said. “But you’ve gotta pay attention.”