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05th Apr 2024

Quinta Brunson calls out Friends for having no Black characters

Nina McLaughlin

“Instead of not having Black people, it does.”

Quinta Brunson blasted Friends for its lack of Black characters during a recent appearance on Saturday Night Live.

The comedian, who is best known for creating and starring in Abbott Elementary, used her opening monologue on last weekend’s show (April 1) to call out Friends for its lack of diversity.

Abbott Elementary revolves around the life of a group of teachers working at a poorly funded school in Philidelphia where the students are predominantly Black.

Friends, however, follows a group of six white people living in their apartments and drinking coffee in New York City.

“I wanted to be on SNL back in the day but the audition process seemed long – so instead, I just created my own TV show, made sure it became really popular, won a bunch of Emmys and then got asked to host,” she said, via The Independent. “So much easier, so much easier.”

She went on to compare her show to the classic sitcom: “It’s a network sitcom like, say, Friends. Except, instead of being about a group of friends, it’s about a group of teachers. Instead of New York, it’s in Philadelphia and instead of not having Black people, it does.”

Friends has faced a lot of criticism in recent years due to its lack of diversity.

Co-creator Marta Kaufmann told Los Angeles Times that it took her a “long time to begin to understand how I internalised systemic racism” with the show.

Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe, has previously defended the show from criticisms.

“Well, I feel like it was a show created by two people who went to Brandeis and wrote about their lives after college,” she told The Daily Beast. They have no business writing stories about the experiences of being a person of colour.”

Related links:

Robert Downey Jr. says ‘90% of his Black friends’ told him his Tropic Thunder role was ‘great’

Lisa Kudrow hits back at fans complaining about lack of diversity in Friends

Friends creator ’embarrassed’ about show’s lack of diversity – makes $4m apology

Matthew Perry can’t rewatch any of Friends for heartbreaking reason

‘Friends’ reunion criticised as no Black stars are due to appear