Friends Co-Creator Would Handle Trans Storyline Differently Today
'Friends' Co-Creator Would Handle Trans Storyline Differently Today
Some of the iconic show's jokes just don't hold up.
Marta Kauffman, co-creator of Friends, has admitted the show’s handling of LGBTQ content back in the 90s would probably have to change in a modern setting.
“I think we didn’t have the knowledge about transgender people back then, so I’m not sure if we used the appropriate terms,” she told USA Today. “I don’t know if I would have known those terms back then. I think that’s the biggest one.”
For those of you who don’t rewatch Friends on a regular basis, Chandler’s father (played by Kathleen Turner) came out as transgender, and of course becomes the subjects of many jokes during her appearances, with Chandler even referring to her by the incorrect name.
But Kauffman also acknowledged that she’d have probably changed another tricky episode as well.
In “The One With the Rumor,” Brad Pitt guest stars as an old, loser high school classmate of Rachel, Monica, and Ross, and reveals that he once started a rumor in in school that Rachel was a hermaphrodite.
“I might have not done the hermaphrodite stuff today if I had that to do over in the one with Brad Pitt,” she said.
Audiences who love Friends and audiences who are discovering it for the first time on Netflix have all been realizing there are a number of jokes that just aren’t as funny in a world where we’re trying to be more conscious of what is hurtful to other people.
Matt LeBlanc, who played Joey, was asked about his thoughts on that last year and he wasn’t into it.
“I’ve heard those rumors too about people taking pot shots at Friends, but I don’t want to get into that,” he told the BBC. “I disagree with all that.”
He added: “Friends was about themes that stand the test of time— trust, love, relationships, betrayal, family and things like that. I’m not in the business of making political jokes, politically incorrect jokes.”