Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Friends: The Reunion director responds to lack of diversity criticism: ‘The cast is the cast’

‘It was made in 1994. I think it’s remarkable how well it does stand the test of time’

Rachel Brodsky
Los Angeles
Tuesday 08 June 2021 21:54 BST
First footage from Friends reunion drops

The Friends: The Reunion director and producer Ben Winston has responded to criticism that the highly anticipated special lacked diversity.

Speaking to The Times, the decorated TV producer pointed out the various ways the Reunion creators aimed to include voices from around the globe.

“We have Malala, Mindy Kaling, BTS,” Winston said. “There are three women from Ghana, one who talks about how Friends saved her life. Two boys from Kenya. Three kids in India.

“What more diversity do they want in this reunion?” Winston added. “The cast is the cast. It was made in 1994. I think it's remarkable how well it does stand the test of time.”

Friends: The Reunion aired on 27 May and saw the sitcom’s main cast – Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry – reunite on-air for the first time since the series came to an end in 2004.

The beloved sitcom’s co-creators, Kevin Bright and Marta Kauffman, also touched on the show’s diversity issues a few weeks back in The Hollywood Reporter.

“There are different priorities today and so much has changed,” Bright said. “It's important for today's shows to be reflective of the ways society truly is.

“We didn't intend to have an all-white cast,” he added. “That was not the goal, either. Obviously, the chemistry between these six actors speaks for itself.

“What can I say?” Bright concluded. “I wish Lisa was Black? I've loved this cast. I loved the show and I loved the experience.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in