Friends co-creator says she's now "embarrassed" by the series' lack of diversity
"I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know better 25 years ago."
Co-creator of Friends Marta Kauffman has said she is now "embarrassed" by her hit series' lack of diversity.
Alongside David Crane, Kauffman created the comedy which ran from 1994 to 2004 and became one of the most popular shows of all time.
Since then though, Friends has come under fire for the lack of diversity seen on the programme during its run.
In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Kauffman stated that though she was initially bothered by the criticisms - calling them "difficult and frustrating" - she now feels they are fair.
“I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years. Admitting and accepting guilt is not easy," she told the outlet.
"It’s painful looking at yourself in the mirror. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know better 25 years ago.
“It was after what happened to George Floyd that I began to wrestle with my having bought into systemic racism in ways I was never aware of. That was really the moment that I began to examine the ways I had participated.
“What makes this truly emotional for me is that I want this connection I didn’t have. I deeply, deeply want this connection with the Black community that I didn’t have. Because of Friends, I never attained that.”
Feeling a need to "course-correct", Kauffman has pledged $4 million to Brandeis University - the writer's alma mater in Boston.
This is in order to establish an endowed professorship in the university's African and African American studies department.
Kauffman, who was a co-creator on the Netflix series Grace and Frankie as well, told the Los Angeles Times that she will also make sure on all of her productions going forward that she will be conscious in hiring people of colour both for onscreen roles and as writers.
"I feel I was finally able to make some difference in the conversation [with the pledge]... But until in my next production I can do it right, it isn’t over," she said.