“Friends: The Reunion” director Ben Winston is speaking out about the diversity criticism surrounding the much-loved show.
“Friends” has been criticized on numerous occasions for having an all-white main cast — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer — with only a small number of Black actors having cameos on the show over the years.
Viewers then noted that many of these actors didn’t appear on the recent reunion. However, Winston insisted “not everyone could join us.”
He told the Sunday Times, “I’m really pleased with the show we were able to put together.”
He said the reunion was adequately inclusive, telling the paper: “We have Malala, Mindy Kaling, BTS.
“There are three women from Ghana, one who talks about how ‘Friends’ saved her life. Two boys from Kenya. Three kids in India… What more diversity do they want in this reunion? The cast is the cast. It was made in 1994. I think it’s remarkable how well it does stand the test of time,” he added, according to Complex.
His comments come after “Friends” executive producer and director Kevin Bright was asked about the show’s lack of diversity in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Insisting he had no regrets about the casting decision, Bright said: “No. I don’t have any regrets other than hindsight.
“I would have been insane not to hire those six actors. What can I say? I wish Lisa was Black? I’ve loved this cast. I loved the show and I loved the experience. I know [co-creator Marta Kauffman] has a different feeling about it. I think it affects us all.”