Friends star Lisa Kudrow has defended the hit 90s sitcom, saying it was “progressive” at the time but would not feature an all-white cast if it was made today.
The actress, 56, played Phoebe Buffay in every episode of the show – about six young adults living in New York City – between 1994 and 2004.
Kudrow told The Sunday Times that fans should look at the show as a “time capsule”, saying it would be “completely different” now.
She said: “Well, it would not be an all-white cast, for sure. I’m not sure what else, but, to me, it should be looked at as a time capsule, not for what they did wrong.
“Also, this show thought it was very progressive. There was a guy whose wife discovered she was gay and pregnant, and they raised the child together.
“We had surrogacy too. It was, at the time, progressive.”
She added that in addition to being a “fun comedy”, Friends was also about “people connecting”.
“Part of what appeals about it now is that young people have this unconscious nostalgia for personal connection,” she said, “and not just right now during the pandemic, but before that”.
In February, after years of speculation, Kudrow and her co-stars Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer confirmed they would all reunite for a one-off programme, which has been delayed due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Cox – who played Monica Geller – recently revealed that she has been binge-watching Friends during the lockdown.
Kudrow stars alongside Steve Carell in new Netflix comedy Space Force, inspired by the branch of the US armed services announced by Donald Trump.