Friends creator Marta Kauffman has admitted that if she were able to make the show again, she would do it without jokes about transgender people.
When Friends debuted on Netflix in 2017, many took issue with certain aspects of the show’s humour, particularly the jokes about the LGBTQ+ community.
In an interview with USA Today, Marta was asked how Friends would be done differently if she were to make it in 2019, to which she explained: “I think we didn’t have the knowledge about transgender people back then, so I’m not sure if we used the appropriate terms.
“I don’t know if I would have known those terms back then. I think that’s the biggest one.”
Explaining that she was specifically referring to the character of Chandler’s dad, Marta went on to say: “Every time I watch an episode, there’s something I wish I could have changed… Like, how did we leave that joke in there? Or, really, that storyline? That’s what we went with?”
She also named The One With The Rumor – which was slammed by the intersex community even when it first aired in 2001 – as an episode she would change, adding: “I might have not done the hermaphrodite stuff today if I had that to do over in the one with Brad Pitt… in that sense, it really is a period piece.”
Last year, Matt LeBlanc was asked what he thought of modern viewers’ criticisms of Friends, saying: “I’ve heard those rumours too about people taking pot shots at Friends, but I don’t want to get into that. I disagree with all that.”
Despite ending in 2004, the show is still hugely popular, and was one recent study even revealed it to be the favourite TV show of viewers aged five to 16 in the UK.