We all grew-up watching the classic sitcom. ‘Friends’. It holds a special place within our hearts. Marta Kauffman (creator) and David Crane (creator) created the series around close friends Monica and Phoebe, Rachel and Ross, as well as Chandler and Joey. They were all from Manhattan, New York. It was about their lives and the situational comedy chaos that surrounded them in each situation. They supported each other and stayed together through all of life’s highs and lows. It was a huge success from the moment it debuted in 1994. Even today it has remained one of TV’s most globally loved and cult series since it went off the air in 2004 after 10 seasons. Despite its incredible global success, many viewers and users have complained about the show’s lack of diversity and transgender misrepresentation.
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In an interview with ‘The Conversation’Marta Kauffman openedly admitted to how it was a huge mistake on the BBC World Service, which will air on July 11. “mistake”She referred to Chandler Bing’s transgender mother (Matthew Perry), as her “father”The epic sitcom ‘Friends’.
Where was ‘Friends” filmed? From Greenwich Village, London Marriott to LA’s Warner Bros Ranch, all shooting spots
‘Friends’: The Reunion: Full Lineup: Reese Witherspoon, David Beckham, and all other guests appear in the episode
Marta Kauffman began her interview with BBC World Service by saying, “Pronouns were not yet something that I understood. So we didn’t refer to that character as ‘she.’ That was a mistake.”
Actress Kathleen Turner, who played the role Chandler (Matthew Perry), transgender mother in the series. This was in an old video interview from November 2019. “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen” answered a fan’s question related to her experience of playing Chandler’s father in ‘Friends’ by saying that she wouldn’t have done this role if it ever got offered to her again “because there would be real people able to do the role.”
Marta, who has also been the creator and brainchild behind Netflix’s hit series ‘Grace and Frankie’In an interview with BBC World Service, she also spoke out about how she creates a welcoming and warm environment on sets for everyone. “I like very much to create an environment where we have a happy set and a happy crew. It’s very important to me that where we are is a safe place, a tolerant place, where there’s no yelling. I fired a guy on the spot for making a joke about a trans cameraperson. That just can’t happen.”
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In an earlier interview, Los Angeles TimesKauffman acknowledged her mistake in presenting racial diversity on the show and offered more insight. “I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years. 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.”
She also added “Friends has been criticized in a number of ways. The biggest one being that we did not have enough representation of Black people. And over the course of the last few years I’ve gotten to the point where I can say, unfortunately, Yes, I am guilty of that.”
Marta ended the interview by saying, “I’ll never make that mistake again. I was clearly part of systemic racism in our business. I was unaware of that, which makes me feel stupid. That was a very valid, extremely difficult criticism which still I get emotional about. If I knew then what I know now, there are certain things I would have changed. But I didn’t know them and I have since learned.”
Although ‘Friends,’ has been applauded for its inclusion of a lesbian pair that includes Ross’s exwife Carol (Jane Sibbett), as well as her partner Susan (Jessica Hecht), it’s true. But sadly, the show has received plenty of ire and flak for its wrong portrayal of Chandler’s transgender mother. Besides being incorrectly gendered by makers in the series, she had also been a target of homophobic jokes in the show which included Chandler’s blatant denial to accept her gender identity alongside demeaning her and also pretending to throw up while seeing her perform on stage.