The director of “Friends: Reunion” turned to critics who questioned why the black actors on the show did not show up, noting that the special lacked variety.
Ben Winston, 39, spoke with The Sunday Times about the special, which aired on HBO Max on May 27. During the interview, Winston responded by suggesting that those who said the special was not diverse “did not see it.”
“We have Malala, Mindy Kaling, BTS [the South Korean boy band]. There are three women from Ghana, one of whom talks about how her friends saved her life. Two boys from Kenya. Three children in India, he said. ̵
Asked about complaints about black Friends friends, such as Aisha Tyler, who do not appear in the special show, Winston said: “Not everyone can join us. But I’m really happy with the show we managed to organize. “
Tyler appeared as a friend of Ross, played by David Schwimmer, in nine episodes in 2003.
Friends, which debuted on NBC in September 1994, has long been criticized for its lack of diversity. The show’s six main members – Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry – are white.
Friends creator Martha Kaufman and executive producer Kevin Bright recently responded by telling The Hollywood Reporter that the cast was chosen because of their chemistry together.
“We didn’t intend to have an all-white lineup,” Bright said. “That wasn’t the goal. Obviously, the chemistry between these six actors speaks for itself.”
Kaufman added: “There are many things I could say if only then I knew what I know now. There was no conscious decision then. We saw people of every race, religion, color. These were the six people we were thrown into.”
Bright went on to say that he did not regret the way Friends turned out, which ended in May 2004.
“I would be crazy if I didn’t hire these six actors. What can I say? I want Lisa to be Black? I loved this cast,” Bright told the outlet. “I loved the show and I loved the experience.”
Kaufman told The Hollywood Reporter that there are “a hundred things” she would change on the show if given the chance.
“I’ve talked about this in the past and I have very strong feelings about being involved in a system, but it comes down to not knowing what I didn’t know,” she said.