David Schwimmer addressed the lack of diversity in Friends. Unfortunately, that got him some backlash. As TV Shows Ace reported, the actor addressed some of the criticism that Friends faced. The sitcom has faced even more criticism since it’s found a new home on Netflix.
Millennials argue that the comedy hasn’t aged well. The show was tone deaf when it came to handling topics about body-shaming and the LGBTQ community. But David Schwimmer doesn’t seem to care. He feels that the show was “groundbreaking” for it’s time.
In that same interview, he said there should be “an all-black or an all-Asian Friends.” Those comments didn’t go over well with the black community who argued that Living Single was an all-black version of Friends. The series was so ahead of its time that it was already on television before Friends became a runaway hit.
David Schwimmer apologizes for diversity comments
As Yahoo! Entertainment reported, the actor responded to a Living Single actress who called him out on social media. She caught wind of Schwimmer’s interview with The Guardian. During his conversation, he addressed the criticism over the lack of diversity on the series.
“I don’t care,” Schwimmer vehemently stated. “That show was groundbreaking in its time for the way in which it handled so casually sex, protected sex, gay marriage and relationships.”
Schwimmer added that he was very aware of his white privilege during those times. He claimed that he kept up with social issues and was an advocate for “issues of equality.” The Intelligence star said that he even advocated to have his character, Ross Geller, date women of color throughout his duration on the show.
Aisha Tyler was the only black actress to have a recurring role on the series. But she didn’t appear until Season 9. That’s when Schwimmer added that “there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends.”
Shortly after the interview was published, Erika Alexander, who played Max on Fox’s Living Single, tweeted that her show was an all-black version of Friends. The series debuted a year before the NBC comedy. The Friends/Living Single were made for years. Fans of both shows wondered if Friends copied Living Single’s plot and brand of comedy.
Hey @DavidSchwimmer @FriendsTV – r u seriously telling me you’ve never heard of #LivingSingle? We invented the template! Yr welcome bro. 😉 David Schwimmer 2 The Guardian: “Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends” https://t.co/r8W1ZHBwoy
— Erika Alexander (@EAlexTheGreat) January 28, 2020
Schwimmer has since apologized to Alexander. In his lengthy letter, he claims to be a fan of Living Single. The actor explained that his interview was “pieced together and taken out of context.” Schwimmer said his quotes were later “repurposed” in other articles to tell a different story. You can read the full apology below:
— schwim (@DavidSchwimmer) January 29, 2020
Friends star rejects chances for a reunion
During that same interview, Schwimmer shared his thoughts on a Friends reboot. He was asked whether he would be interested in a reboot or revival of the sitcom that ran for 10 years. Schwimmer revealed the same answer that his other costars have been giving since the show ended in 2004. A reboot isn’t going to happen. Unless it’s done in the right light.
“I just don’t think it’s possible, given everyone’s different career trajectories,” Schwimmer explained. “I think everyone feels the same: why mess with what felt like the right way to end the stories?”
The actor doesn’t care how much money he would be offered. He would only sign on if it made “sense creatively” and he hasn’t heard anything interesting as of yet.
What are your thoughts on David Schwimmer’s interview? Sound off below in the comments section.