One criticism that has dogged “Friends” over the years has been the lack of diversity in a sitcom focused on six white characters.
That would certainly not be the case if the show had been produced in 2020, which Lisa Kudrow (who played Phoebe Buffay) asserted in a new interview with The Times.
Asked about what changes she thought would be made in the show had it been made today, Kudrow, 56, replied, “It would not be an all-white cast, for sure.”
However, Kudrow feels that the show “should be looked at as a time capsule, not for what they did wrong.”
In fact, she insisted that “Friends” was actually remarkably “progressive” for its time.
“There was a guy whose wife discovered she was gay and pregnant, and they raised the child together,” she said, referencing David Schwimmer’s character. “We had surrogacy, too. It was, at the time, progressive.”
Kudrow also offered her theory on why the show continues to connect with viewers today, more than a quarter-decade after it first premiere.
“Yes, it’s a fun comedy, but it’s also about people connecting, and part of what appeals about it now is that young people have this unconscious nostalgia for personal connection,” she explained. “And not just right now during the pandemic, but before that.”