Friends co creator Marta Kauffman blames her ‘own ignorance’ for the show’s lack of diversity

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Marta Kauffman opened up about Friends having all white cast members.
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A show like Friends in this day and age would have been different. Or at least that’s what a good number of the population in the world, including co-creator Marta Kauffman, thinks due to the lack of diversity in the 1994 sitcom. While chatting on the CNN Series History of the Sitcom, Marta addresses the issue of little to no diversity in Friends for which she feels the “time period” when the show aired and her “own ignorance” majorly responsible.

“It was, to a certain extent, a product of the time period and of my own ignorance,” she said. Adding to her explanation, Kauffman pointed out the lack of interracial shows back in the days, and the segregation between black shows and white shows. “There were Black shows and there were white shows. There weren’t a lot of shows that were interracial”, she added. The topic was taken up in the CNN series after former Designing Women actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, stated that she "never watched Friends because they could not possibly find a way to add anybody of color.”

Kauffman went on to add that she did not know any better, and had the show been made today, her decisions would’ve been very different. “I wish I knew then what I knew today, I would have made very different decisions. We’ve always encouraged people of diversity in our company, but I didn’t do enough”, Kauffman said.

She continued, "Now all I can think about is what can I do, what can I do differently. How can I run my show in a new way? That's something I wish I knew when I started showrunning but all the way up through last year”, via Entertainment Weekly.

Friends aired from 1994 to 2004 navigating through different stories concerning six individuals in New York City. The show is claimed to be based on the life experiences of co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane. The show had Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer as the six main leads.

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