Marta Kauffmann, one of the creators of the hit series Friends, regrets the carelessness with which the series made jokes about a transgender character at the time. That’s what she said Radio Times in an interview on British radio. She mainly refers to the father of the main character Chandler, who went into transition during Chandler’s puberty.
This character was played in the series by actress Kathleen Turner. “We’ve always talked about Chandler’s father in the series, even after this character’s transition,” Kauffmann said.
“Using the right pronouns for transgender people was not something I delved into at the time. That was wrong in retrospect.”
The hit series from the 1990s has come under fire more often in recent years for its lack of diversity. Although the sitcom was set in metropolitan New York, the cast consisted of six white main characters who barely interacted with people of color.
According to Kauffmann, almost all series from that time were mainly ‘white’ but she gained new insights after the murder of George Floyd in 2020. That murder marked an important point in the Black Lives Matter movement.
The television producer recently donated almost 4 million euros to Brandeis University, which will benefit African and African-American studies within the faculty.
“In recent years I have come to realize that I have contributed to institutional racism. I will never make that mistake again. If I knew then what I know now, I would have done certain things differently,” said Kauffmann, who has just turned 38. had become when the first episode of Friends was broadcast in September 1994.