‘Friends’ Producer Has No Regrets About An All-White Cast: What Can I Say? I Wish Lisa Kudrow Was Black?
An executive producer and director for the show, Kevin Bright, is now addressing the criticism on the heels of a reunion between its stars; and it’s safe to say he has no regrets about casting.
The series aired for 10 seasons after its 1994 premiere and starred Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Matthew Perry.
When asked if the cast being all white was a conscious decision, Bright told The Hollywood Reporter,
“For the parts of Chandler and Phoebe, we saw everybody and we picked what we thought with the two best actors. There are different priorities today and so much has changed.”
“There was no social media when Friends was on the air. Can you imagine what every episode might have been like if it had to go under that scrutiny every week? You might not have gotten the whole series. It’s important for today’s shows to be reflective of the ways society truly is. But for our experience, the three of us, that may have been our experience when we were young and in New York. But we didn’t intend to have an all-white cast. That was not the goal, either. Obviously, the chemistry between these six actors speaks for itself.”
Still, he said he doesn’t regret the decision.
“No. I don’t have any regrets other than hindsight. I would have been insane not to hire those six actors. What can I say? I wish Lisa was Black? I’ve loved this cast. I loved the show and I loved the experience. I know [creator] Marta [Kauffman] has a different feeling about it. I think it affects us all.”
He added that if Friends premiered in the current day, it most likely would not have an all-white cast.
What are your thoughts on what the producer had to say? Let us know in the comments.