Lisa Kudrow rose to international fame in the 1990s as Phoebe Buffay in the American sitcom Friends. From 1994 until 2004, Lisa Kudrow shared the screen with Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc. In recent years, the lack of diversity on Friends has been called into question.
Marta Kauffman and David Crane created the show. They are both white. According to the Daily Beast, Kudrow recently argued that writing from a standpoint other than their own would have been disingenuous.
“I feel like it was a show created by two people who went to Brandeis and wrote about their lives after college. And for shows especially, when it’s going to be a comedy that’s character-driven, you write what you know. They have no business writing stories about the experiences of being a person of color.”
Brandeis is a private liberal arts university located outside of Boston. Kudrow recognized, however, that not enough was being done to mentor creatives of color, adding, “I think at that time, the big problem that I was seeing was, ‘Where’s the apprenticeship?'”
Kauffman herself admitted in June that her show had fallen short of expectations. Kauffman, who is 65, also co-created Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, said a surge in social and cultural movements helped her see the error of her ways.
“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.”
“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. That was really the moment that I began to examine the ways I had participated. I knew then I needed to course-correct.”
Kauffman donated $4 million to the African and African American studies department at Brandeis University. In spite of everything, many people still admire the show. To get the latest updates, keep an eye on Thirsty.
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