Lisa Kudrow Thinks ‘Friends’ Would Be ‘Completely Different’ If It Was Made Today
Fans want more new episodes of Friends, but the original cast doesn’t seem interested in filming them. Lisa Kudrow talked about how the show would be completely different today and why it’s still so popular.
David Schwimmer suggested there be an all-Black ‘Friends’
David Schwimmer, who played Ross Gellar, previously made headlines for an interview he did with The Guardian. Fans want more new episodes with the original cast, but Schwimmer 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.”
This response got backlash because Living Single came before Friends and it heavily influenced the NBC show. 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. ;)”
Schwimmer responded to the backlash
Schwimmer later responded to the backlash in a statement. “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.”
He then added, “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.”
The statement continued, “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.”
Lisa Kudrow thinks the show would be completely different today
Lisa Kudrow talked to The Sunday Times about Friends. She is another cast member who thinks the show would be cast differently today.
“It would not be an all-white cast, for sure. I’m not sure what else,” the funny actor said. “But, to me, it should be looked at as a time capsule, not for what they did wrong. Also, this show thought it was very progressive. There was a guy whose wife discovered she was gay and pregnant, and they raised the child together? We had surrogacy too. It was, at the time, progressive.”
She went on to talk about why the show’s fandom is still so strong today. “Yes, it’s a fun comedy, but it’s also about people connecting, and part of what appeals about it now is that young people have this unconscious nostalgia for personal connection,” Kudrow said. “And not just right now during the pandemic, but before that.”
The original cast members are reuniting to talk about their experiences filming the show for HBO Max. Production of the special is currently on hold due to the pandemic.