David Schwimmer Tells ‘Living Single’ Actress Erika Alexander “I Meant No Disrespect” After Saying ‘Friends’ Should Have An African-American Spinoff 

David Schwimmer Tells ‘Living Single’ Actress Erika Alexander “I Meant No Disrespect” After Saying ‘Friends’ Should Have An African-American Spinoff

David Schwimmer got a history lesson from Maxine Shaw, attorney at law.

The “Friends” star sparked conversation after his interview with The Guardian went viral. David Schwimmer, who played Ross Geller on the series that ran from 1994-2004 said in the interview,

“Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends. But I was well aware of the lack of diversity and 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.”

Still, Erika Alexander, who played Maxine Shaw on “Living Single” from 1993-1998, reminded David Schwimmer that not only is there an African-American version of “Friends,” but that “Living Single” did it first as both shows tell the stories of close friends living in New York City.

She wrote on Jan. 28,

“Hey [email protected] @FriendsTV – r u seriously telling me you’ve never heard of #LivingSingle? We invented the template! Yr welcome bro. ;) David Schwimmer 2 The Guardian: “Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends”
She also called on her co-stars for reinforcement.
She also told David Schwimmer,
“Happy 2 work on true diversity/inclusion with you! Have your agent call my agent. ;) e.”
See more of her reactions below.

Her tweets garnered a response from David Schwimmer, who wrote a lengthy note.

He wrote,

“Hi Erika, As you know, I was asked recently in an interview for The Guardian how I felt (for the thousandth time) about a reboot of Friends immediately following a conversation about diversity on the show, and so offered up other possibilities for a reimagining of the show today. I didn’t mean to imply Living Single hadn’t existed or indeed hadn’t come before Friends, which I knew it had. Please remember in an interview quotes are often pieced together and taken out of context, and then these quotes are repurposed in other articles by other people who are trying to be provocative.”

He continued,

“I was a fan of Living Single, and was not implying Friends was the first of its kind. To my knowledge, Friends (which came a year later) was inspired by Marta & David’s own lives and circle of friends living in NY in their twenties. If it was based on Living Single you’d have to ask them. It’s entirely possible that Warner Brothers and NBC, encouraged by the success of Living Single, gave the Friends pilot a green light. I honestly don’t know, but seems likely!”

He ended with,

“If that’s the case, we are all indebted to Living Single for paving the way. In any event, if my quote was taken out of context, it’s hardly in my control. I assure you I meant no disrespect.”

Interestingly enough, while Erika Alexander responded, she let him know she’d have a lengthy message of her own soon.

“David, thank you for this – it was very thoughtful. I’d like to say something a bit more in depth myself – so stay tuned – but really brother thank you. e.”
What do you think about David Schwimmer and Erika Alexander’s interaction? Tell us in the comments.

 

Authored by: Char Patterson