‘Friends’ Creators Respond to Claims the Show Hasn’t Aged Well: ‘We Broke Plenty of New Ground’


Cast of Friends
The cast of ‘Friends.’ Courtesy of TV Land

Moo point? Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman and executive producer Kevin S. Bright addressed viewer reactions to some of the more sensitive storylines from the sitcom.

Kauffman, for one, admitted there are moments she regrets, such as “fat Monica.” The recurring bit saw Courteney Cox’s character become the butt of jokes centered around her weight when she was younger.

“I wish I had my 2019 glasses on when we did a lot of it, so there are things I look back on and go, ‘Yeah, if I had known better, I would have done things differently,’” the producer, 62, told Us Weekly exclusively at Tribeca TV Festival’s Friends 25th Anniversary Celebration on September 13. “But I didn’t.”

Bright, meanwhile, approached the topic from another point of view, confessing that he does not regret the now controversial portions of the show. “No, because those are things about now and those weren’t the things about then,” the 64-year-old explained to Us. “I think we broke plenty of new ground. You’d never seen a gay wedding on television before Friends. You’d never seen blatant sexuality on a sitcom before Friends. So I think we broke our ground.”

Friends aired the first TV wedding between two women during season 2 in January 1996. In “The One With the Lesbian Wedding,” Ross’ (David Schwimmer) ex-wife Carol (Jane Sibbett) married her partner, Susan (Jessica Hecht).

The NBC hit aired from 1994 to 2004. Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), Monica Geller (Cox), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc), Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) and Ross Geller (Schwimmer) navigated through life in New York City as 20somethings with everyday dating, career and interpersonal issues.

The cast remained close friends after the show wrapped its 10-season run — a fact that shocks neither of the creators. “You work that closely together and they all went through something at the same time, where suddenly they’re on the covers of magazines and basically the only people who would know what they were going through were each other,” Kauffman recalled. “So no, it doesn’t surprise me.”

Co-creator David Crane then chimed in: “It makes complete sense! They became friends right away and had amazing chemistry in real life. So no, they stayed friends. How could they not?”

With reporting by Lexi Ciccone and Nicki Gostin

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