Friends star David Schwimmer this week set Twitter on fire with his suggestion that the show could be rebooted as an “all-black Friends or all-Asian Friends.” The idea hasn’t gone over very well with quite a few people.
Many are saying his comment shows a bit of tunnel vision on Schwimmer’s part, with the limited perspective of a Friends-lens.
Here’s how his suggestion was received.
His reaction to criticism of ‘Friends’
In a conversation with The Guardian, Schwimmer was asked for his thoughts on, of course, Friends‘ popularity, but also on how disappointed millennial viewers are with some of the show’s jokes and storylines on Monica’s weight, Chandler’s cross-dressing dad, and his fear of being perceived as gay.
“I don’t care,” Schwimmer said. “The truth is also that show was groundbreaking in its time for the way in which it handled so casually sex, protected sex, gay marriage and relationships. The pilot of the show was my character’s wife left him for a woman and there was a gay wedding, of my ex and her wife, that I attended.”
“I feel that a lot of the problem today in so many areas is that so little is taken in context. You have to look at it from the point of view of what the show was trying to do at the time. . .”
David Schwimmer’s solution for a more modern ‘Friends’
Schwimmer seemed to not feel it was entirely fair to judge a 25-year-old show in the light of today’s views on life since then. He offered a solution to fans who felt Friends fell short in that aspect.
“Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends,” he suggested. “But I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of color. 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.”
Schwimmer got a whirlwind of comments from Twitter – and a ‘Living Single’ star
Schwimmer’s comment did not go over well on Twitter, with many tweeting comments expressing their outrage at their view of Schwimmer’s thinking that Friends was some kind of standard-bearer of friend-ensemble sitcoms.
Many tweets sought to remind the 53-year-old actor that Living Single, the five-season sitcom about six African-American professionals living in a Brooklyn brownstone apartment, was on the air first before Friends. It began airing in 1993, while Friends began in 1994.
A flurry of tweets appeared, saying “we have our own blueprint for a reboot, we do not need the mayo version. we good #davidschwimmer.”
Another said, “Imagine thinking you’re progressive but not realizing you were on a reboot of a black show #LivingSingle #DavidSchwimmer.”
Living Single star Erika Alexander couldn’t resist setting Schwimmer right, either, tweeting “Hey @DavidSchwimmer @FriendsTV – r u seriously telling me you’ve never heard of #LivingSingle? We invented the template! Yr welcome bro. ;) “