Lisa Kudrow defends Friends: ‘At the time it was very progressive’

‘It should be looked at as a time capsule,’ said the actor

Ellie Harrison
Sunday 17 May 2020 08:54 BST
Executive producer teases details of Friends reunion

Lisa Kudrow has defended Friends amid criticism that the show has aged badly.

The actor starred as Phoebe Buffay in all 236 episodes of the beloved sitcom between 1994 and 2004.

In recent years, the show has been accused of having "problematic" storylines, with millennial viewers describing it as transphobic, homophobic and sexist, and lamenting the lack of non-white characters.

Speaking about what Friends would be like if it aired today, Kudrow told The Sunday Times: “Oh, it’d be completely different. 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.”

She continued: “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.”

Kudrow added that the reason the show is still so popular is because “young people have this unconscious nostalgia for personal connection”.

The star can next be seen in Netflix’s satirical series Space Force, alongside Steve Carell.

It was recently reported that the planned Friends reunion could be filmed by the end of summer after being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The special episode, which comes 16 years after the iconic sitcom came to an end, was originally supposed to be available when HBO Max launches on 27 May in the US.

Production shutdowns linked to the coronavirus crisis have made it impossible to stick to that schedule, but HBO Max still hopes to tape the reunion special in the coming months.

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