Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman owns up to legendary sitcom's lack of diversity: I’m embarrassed
After decades of being criticized, Marta Kauffman is addressing the backlash that the classic sitcom has received.
Friends co-creator is trying to make amends. In a recent interview with Los Angeles Times, via ET Canada, Marta Kauffman addressed the decades-old criticism that Friends faces even now, its lack of diversity. For years, the creator believed that critics unfairly singled out the sitcom and called it "difficult and frustrating" but as years have passed by, Kauffman too has had a shift in her perspective.
Recently, Kauffman pledged USD 4 million in donations to her alma mater Brandeis University in order to set up an equipped professorship at the African and African-American studies department. She elaborated, "I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years," and continued, "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 also pointed out that the police violence against Black people in the country had changed her perspective largely.
Kauffman went on to explain, "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." She confessed, "That was really the moment that I began to examine the ways I had participated. I knew then I needed to course-correct."
Meanwhile, Kauffman also addressed the criticism last year's reunion of Friends received for not talking about these issues. She clarified, "I don’t know how the two were related. And I also don’t know how we could have addressed it in that context of that reunion, going into all the things we did wrong. And there were others."