In honor of the 25th anniversary, the Friends co-creators appeared on a panel at the Tribeca TV Festival.

Marta Kauffman and David Crane discussed quite a few things, including their regrets. Kauffman said she regretted two plotlines in particular: one in which David Arquette stalks Phoebe’s twin sister Ursula (she said it took “a lot of rewriting”) and another one in which Charlie Sheen guest stars and he and Phoebe get the chickenpox.

As for Crane, he didn’t get too specific with his regrets and merely said,

“I’ll see something … and it will be like, ‘Wow, that actually holds up,’ and then there are definitely times where I’ll go, ‘Really? We went with that?’”

Both co-creators’ admissions were pretty benign considering the wealth of things they could — and should — regret about the show. The series included numerous homophobic, transphobic, and fat-phobic plots that continued throughout the series. Not to mention the show lacked some serious diversity.

In an article that went viral, writer Scaachi Koul recently wrote extensively on the problematic nature of the show (if you haven’t read it yet, you should ASAP). And yet, none of the creators nor members of the core cast have had the guts to respond.

Yes, the show was written in the 90s before anyone was “woke.” Transgender issues were not yet understood publicly and the body positive movement was decades away.

But it was *never* ok to make jokes at the expense of others and doing so is just plain lazy writing.

Regardless, it’s now 2019 and painfully obvious how poorly the show has aged. If the series wants to maintain any shred of integrity then the cast and crew need to come forward and acknowledge their mistakes. Otherwise, we truly have nothing to celebrate this anniversary.


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