David Schwimmer Responds to Backlash Over His All-Black ‘Friends’ Revival Comment

Many fans of Friends are wanting a revival. However, one actor that is shooting down their hopes is David Schwimmer. He suggested if there is a revival it should be different, but that received backlash. Find out the reason why and how he responded.

David Schwimmer suggested there should be an all-Black ‘Friends’

David Schwimmer
David Schwimmer | Noam Galai/Getty Images

Schwimmer talked about a revival of the show in an interview with The Guardian. He said he didn’t think a reunion was possible but he had another idea.

“Maybe there should be an all-Black Friends or an all-Asian Friends,” said Schwimmer. “But I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of colour. One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian American woman, and later I dated African American women. That was a very conscious push on my part.”

There was backlash to this suggestion

Many people weren’t happy to find out Schwimmer suggested there be an all-Black Friends. That’s because Living Single came before it and it’s believed Friends was inspired by it.

Actress Erika Alexander, who played Maxine ‘Max’ Felice Shaw, on Living Single tweeted a response to the interview. “Hey ⁦@DavidSchwimmer ⁦@FriendsTV⁩ – r [sic] u [sic] seriously telling me you’ve never heard of #LivingSingle? We invented the template! Yr [sic] welcome bro. ;) David Schwimmer 2 The Guardian: ‘Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends.'”

Queen Latifah has previously talked about the ties between the shows on The Late Late Show with James Corden. “It was interesting because when Living Single came out, shortly thereafter, Warren Littlefield who was president of NBC – they asked him if he could have any show on television, any of the new shows, which one would it be? And he said, Living Single. It was in the newspaper and then next thing you know, here comes Friends,” she said.

Schwimmer said he didn’t mean to ‘disrespect’

The actor is now responding to the backlash to his suggestion on Twitter. He talked about what he meant by his comment.

“I didn’t mean to imply Living Single hadn’t existed or indeed hadn’t come before Friends, which I knew it had,” read his statement. “I was a fan of Living Single, and was not implying Friends was the first of its kind.”

The actor did add that he didn’t know there was connection between Living Single and Friends. “To my knowledge, Friends (which came out a year later) was inspired by [series creators] Marta [Kaufmann] & David [Crane]’s own lives and circle of friends living in NY in their twenties. If it was based on Living Single you’d have to ask them,” read the statement. “It’s entirely possible that Warner Brothers and NBC, encouraged by the success of Living Single, gave the Friends pilot a green light. I honestly don’t know, but seems likely! If that’s the case, we are all indebted to Living Single for paving the way.”

The actor then added, “In any event, if my quote was taken out of context, it’s hardly in my control. I assure you I meant no disrespect.”