David Schwimmer defends Friends against criticism despite being 'aware of lack of diversity'

Danny Thompson
Contributor

Friends star David Schwimmer has defended the show against criticism, as he claims he had to “push” for his character Ross to “date more women of colour”.

The sitcom about six friends living in New York was a huge hit, and is on near constant repeat on various channels in the UK despite ending in 2004.

But the show has been criticised by modern viewers since it began streaming on Netflix, with some feeling the it is problematic when dealing with issues such as racism, sexism and homophobia.

FRIENDS -- Season 6 -- Pictured: (l-r) David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani -- (Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

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But Schwimmer has defended the show in a recent interview and suggested “an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends” be made.

He told The Guardian: “I feel that a lot of the problem today in so many areas is that so little is taken in context. You have to look at it from the point of view of what the show was trying to do at the time.”

He went on to describe the show as “groundbreaking” for they way it dealt with issues such as sex, gay marriage and relationships.

FRIENDS -- Pictured: David Schwimmer as Ross Geller (Photo by Jon Ragel/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

However he also admits to being “well aware” of the lack of diversity.

He said: “I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of colour.

"One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian American woman, and later I dated African American women. That was a very conscious push on my part."

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He adds he has always felt a “sense of responsibility” to speak out when seeing an abuse of power, and admits to being aware of his “privilege as heterosexual white male”.

On a lighter note, Schwimmer spoke about the possibility of a Friends reunion, though die hard fans might not like what he had to say.

The actor said due to”different career trajectories” it isn’t possible.

He also said he wouldn’t like to “mess with what felt like the right way to end the series”.

Never mind Friends fans, there 236 episodes waiting to be watched on Netflix.