‘A whole generation of kids’ finds ‘Friends’ offensive: Jennifer Aniston

"Comedy has evolved, movies have evolved," Aniston told AFP in Paris. She further mentioned how it’s a bit tricky these days to be funny.

Published: 31st March 2023 06:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd April 2023 12:34 PM   |  A+A-

American actress Jennifer Aniston

American actress Jennifer Aniston (File photo | AP)

By Online Desk

"A whole generation of kids now finds Friends offensive", said Jennifer Aniston who made her name in the smash-hit 90s sitcom. In an interview with Variety, the actress was promoting her new Netflix film Murder Mystery 2, costarring Adam Sandler, when the topic came up.

She has been starring in comedies for nearly 30 years from the launch of NBC’s Friends in 1994 to the upcoming release of her latest work Murder Mystery 2. 

"Comedy has evolved, movies have evolved," Aniston told AFP in Paris. She further mentioned how it’s a bit tricky these days to be funny.

"Now it’s a little tricky because you have to be very careful, which makes it really hard for comedians, because the beauty of comedy is that we make fun of ourselves, make fun of life," said Aniston.

She also touched upon how much the culture has changed since Friends debuted in 1994.

"There’s a whole generation of people, kids, who are now going back to episodes of Friends and find them offensive,” Aniston said. “There were things that were never intentional and others… well, we should have thought it through – but I don’t think there was a sensitivity like there is now."

She further added, "[In the past] you could joke about a bigot and have a laugh – that was hysterical. And it was about educating people on how ridiculous people were. And now we’re not allowed to do that."

Aniston concluded by saying, “Everybody needs funny! The world needs humour! We can’t take ourselves too seriously. Especially in the United States. Everyone is far too divided.”

The TV series' lack of diversity has been in the headlines for a while now. Cast member Lisa Kudrow once said that if the show ever returned or got rebooted "it would not be an all-white cast."

All six main characters on Friends were white, and it rarely featured actors of colour in prominent roles across 10 seasons and 236 episodes. Not just that, some of the jokes on the show are now seen to be homophobic or transphobic.

Marta Kauffman, the sitcom's co-creator, expressed remorse about the lack of diversity last year.

She donated $4 million to create the Marta F. Kauffman ’78 Professorship in African and African American Studies at Brandeis University. The program will "support a distinguished scholar with a concentration in the study of the peoples and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora."

"Admitting and accepting guilt is not easy," Kaufman told the Los Angeles Times. "It’s painful looking at yourself in the mirror. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know better 25 years ago," she added.

India Matters


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