Marta Kauffman wishes she did more to encourage diversity on Friends.
During the ATX Television Festival's '.... from the Couch' panel discussion with female showrunners, when asked what the co-creator of Friends wished she'd known when starting her career, she said, "I wish I knew then what I know today. Sorry, I just wish I knew then what I know now. I would've made very different decisions.
"I mean we've always encouraged people of diversity in our company, but I didn't do enough and now all I can think about is what can I do? What can I do differently? How can I run my show in a new way? And that's something I not only wish I knew when I started showrunning, but I wish I knew all the way up through last year."
Friends — which stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer — has been criticised in the past but cast member David has spoken out about it, insisting it was progressive at the time.
Kudrow and Schwimmer have also recently spoken about the show's lack of diversity.
In an interview with The Guardian early this year, Schwimmer said, "I was well aware of the lack of diversity."
In fact, he lobbied for years to have his character, 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."
Elsewhere, Kudrow insisted the show would be a lot different if it was filmed in 2020.
She said: "Well, it would not be an all-white cast, for sure. I'm not sure what else, 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."— BANG
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