Lisa Kudrow responds to row over lack of diversity in Friends

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The actress, best known for her role as Phoebe Buffay on the American sitcom, has shared her views on the lack of diversity.

Lisa Kudrow has spoken publicly about the lack of diversity in the 1990s American sitcom Friends, saying that the creators had “no right” to write stories about being a person of color.

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In conversation with Daily Beastthe actress, best known for her role as Phoebe Buffay in the cult classic, shared her thoughts on why there wasn’t more diversity on the show.

The 59-year-old has previously spoken out on the matter in 2020 when she admitted that if the show had filmed today, “it wouldn’t be an all-white cast”.

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The cast of Friends rose to fame in the ’90s and the show remains hugely popular to this day

In Kudrow’s final interview, she discussed how the show’s creators, David Krane and Martha Kauffman, wrote the show from their own experiences.

Last month, co-creator Martha Kauffman apologized for the show’s lack of black leads and pledged $4 million to her alma mater.

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The aim of the donation to Brandeis University is to create an endowed professorship within the university’s Department of African and African American Studies.

Friends co-creator Martha Kauffman

Lisa Kudrow was asked about the donation and how she felt about the lack of diversity on the show, telling the Daily Beast, “Well, I feel like it was a show that was created by two people who went after Brandeis and wrote about her life after college.

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“And for the shows, especially if it’s a character-driven comedy, you write what you know.

“They have nothing to do with writing stories about the experiences of being a person of color. I think the big problem I saw at the time was, “Where’s the education?”

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Friends is a globally popular 1990s television sitcom, episodes of which are still widely broadcast on British television.

Kudrow, who plays the quirky Phoebe Buffay, stars alongside Jennifer Anniston, Courtney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer.

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Co-creator Martha Kauffman said she felt “embarrassed” and “guilty” about the show’s lack of diversity.

In conversation with the Los Angeles Times Earlier this year, Kauffman said, “For every production I do from now on, I want to make sure I’m consciously hiring people of color and I’m actively nurturing young writers of color.

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“I want to know that I will behave differently from now on. And then I feel unencumbered.”

The cast of Friends

Kauffman also spoke in a recent virtual interview at the ATX Television Festival, where she added, “I wish I knew then what I know now, I would have made very different choices.

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“I haven’t done enough. Now all I can do is think about what I can do and what I can do differently.

“How can I run my show in a new way? It’s something I wish I had known when I started showrunning.”

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All six actors returned for a reunion show in 2021, with Kudrow praising the show’s longevity in her Daily Beast interview about how the cast got along so well.

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