David Schwimmer, a.k.a Ross Gellar on the hit show Friends recently sat down with The Guardian, and he got very candid about the criticisms the show has faced in recent years.
Now regardless of how we feel, Friends is one of the most popular shows in television history. Despite that, it hasn’t aged very well with Black Twitter pointing out its lack of flavor (diversity). In the interview, Schwimmer claimed that he fought for more diverse casting during Friends ten -season run, especially with the women his character dated.
“I was well aware of the lack of diversity, and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of color. One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian-American woman, and later I dated African American women. That was a very conscious push on my part.”
As far as the criticism of the show not “aging well,” Schwimmer claimed in his sitdown with The Guardian that he “didn’t care” and believed it was ahead of its time when tackling specific issues like gay marriage.
“The pilot of the show was my character’s wife left him for a woman, and there was a gay wedding, of my ex and her wife, that I attended. I feel that a lot of the problem today in so many areas is that so little is taken in context. You have to look at it from the point of view of what the show was trying to do at the time.”
“I feel that a lot of the problem today in so many areas is that so little is taken in context. You have to look at it from the point of view of what the show was trying to do at the time. I’m the first person to say that maybe something was inappropriate or insensitive, but I feel like my barometer was pretty good at that time. I was already really attuned to social issues and issues of equality.”
When speaking on the idea of a reunion, Schwimmer dismissed the idea of him reprising his role but definitely is on board for having a more “inclusive cast” if a Friends reboot did indeed happen. When word hit Twitter, Black Twitter quickly reminded of this other show that many feel Friends bit off called Living Single, which has it’s own reboot reportedly in the works.
You can peep all of the reactions in the gallery below.
Photo: Tibrina Hobson / Getty
Friends was an all-white reboot of Living Single. https://t.co/zno13ka3se— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) January 28, 2020
"It was a guy named Warren Littlefield that used to run NBC, and they asked him when all the new shows came out if there was any show he could have, which would it be? He said, ‘Living Single.’ And then he created ‘Friends"" https://t.co/ZMGafggoYJ— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) January 28, 2020
David Schwimmer clearly doesn’t know that the “all-black” reboot of Friends that he wants was already done and was called Living Single...which btw inspired Friends pic.twitter.com/uDQz2oxqID— Joshua Chenault (@joshuachenault1) January 28, 2020
"[Friends] went out into an all-white New York. Our New York, our Brooklyn, was as diverse as it is in reality.” - Yvette Lee Bowser, creator of Living Single https://t.co/oeXglMzt32— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 28, 2020
Did a pod w/ @EAlexTheGreat a few months ago and she broke down how “Friends” was a rip-off of “Living Single.” We also discussed black erasure in general. Guess nobody told David Schwimmer.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) January 29, 2020
Full pod here —> https://t.co/1nDMGZPGqc https://t.co/HZc4TLQc2S
For those who didn’t know (although I think most of my followers do), NBC saw Living Single’s early success, and came up with Friends.pic.twitter.com/ku5jy8wS1X— Naima Cochrane (@naima) January 28, 2020
In 2013, I wrote a sitcom pilot about six Asian millennials who are trying to balance career, love, and family in the big city. Ask me about it.— William Yu 유규호 (@its_willyu) January 28, 2020
Also, Living Single centered on the lives of six Black friends who share personal and professional experiences while living in BK. https://t.co/jLe5PuQJKe
We had that already, well before Friends. It was called Living Single. https://t.co/AtXslset6R— Retired Pussy Thrower (@thejournalista) January 28, 2020
I know we talked about this before....— Donovan Reynolds (@donovanreyno1ds) January 25, 2020
But I just want everybody to know that Friends copied their show’s concept from Living Single, whitewashed it & debuted almost exactly a year later than the original. pic.twitter.com/3B24zOUmL3
It was called Living Single. It existed before Friends.— Dorian Stewart (@dorianjstewart) January 28, 2020
Can someone explain to David Schwimmer that Friends WAS an all-white reboot of the all-Black Living Single? https://t.co/A82J5Q3kWo— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) January 28, 2020
David Schwimmer wants a Black reboot of Friends? He doesn't know Friends was the white 'reboot' of Living Single - starred in a ripoff & didn't do research? They put Living Single in the SAME time slot as Friends - even Pat Boone & Elvis did research to be culture vultures. SMH. pic.twitter.com/upMSNwFC2V— Clay 'Didn't Hold My Vote Hostage' Cane (@claycane) January 29, 2020