While being a famous sitcom adored by millions of viewers, FRIENDS is frequently criticized for its lack of diversity and the all-white lead cast. David Schwimmer, who played Ross in FRIENDS, admitted in a recent interview with an entertainment network that the show’s cast was ‘whitewashed’. He added that he felt ‘wrong’ about the lack of people of color.
David Schwimmer claimed in the interview that it felt wrong not to have enough representation on the show. The actor added that his character, Ross, was meant to be able to date different women of all colors and races. Ross was the only character who dates two non-white characters on the series.
Aisha Taylor as Charlie and Lauren Tom as Julie were the two most popular women of color who got important roles in the series after they started dating the character of David Schwimmer, Ross. However, her role in the show was ‘colorblind,’ according to Aisha Tyler. Aisha Taylor had told a magazine in a previous interview that her job was not written as a woman of color.
Aisha Taylor claimed that she read against women of all ethnic backgrounds when she auditioned for the part. She added that the reason the role succeeded was that they didn’t turn it into a ‘very special episode of FRIENDS,’ in which friends unexpectedly discuss race issues. They never attempted to counterbalance the previous eight seasons’ lack of diversity and Aisha was just another role in the series.
Meanwhile, the FRIENDS cast are planning a much-awaited reunion. The shooting for the reunion was scheduled to start earlier this year, however, it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the same interview, David Schwimmer announced that the reunion was scheduled to shoot in mid-August. However, he added that they could change plans depending on the environment.