Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman has spoken about the lack of diversity in the show, saying that she “didn’t do enough” to promote it.
Friends was founded by Marta and David Crane back in 1994 and has been criticised repeatedly in the past for its lack of diversity throughout the ten series of the show.
Marta Kauffman spoke on a panel at the virtual 2020 ATX TV festival when she made the emotional confession when asked what she had wished she had known before starting her career. “I wish I knew then what I know today”, Marta responded, “Sorry, I just wish I knew then what I know now. I would’ve made very different decisions”.
“I mean, we’ve always encouraged people of diversity in our company”, she said, “But I didn’t do enough and now all I can think about is what can I do? What can I do differently? How can I run my show in a new way? And that’s something I not only wish I knew when I started showrunning, but I wish I knew all the way up through last year”.
Robin Thede, creator and showrunner of A Black Lady Sketch Show, was also on the panel at the festival and said “[The] challenge now is to greenlight these modern black stories; we want to be able to make our version of The Vampire Diaries, or our version of Buffy, we want to be able to make sci-fi, horror I’m writing features in different genres”. She continued with “It’s important for us to be normalised in all genres. It’s about what we can do now. It’s not about just hiring one black actor and one black writer. It’s about creating an environment where everyone feels equal on set”.