Friends: The Reunion director Ben Winston responds to criticism of the show’s lack of diversity

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Friends: The Reunion director Ben Winston responds to criticism of the show’s lack of diversity

Director Ben Winston responded to criticism that last month’s Friends: The Reunion lacked diversity.

The 39-year-old producer wondered what more diversity could be offered in the show that first premiered in 1994 and followed a group of six friends navigating love and life in New York City.

During a sit-down with The timesWinston noted several inclusion efforts after fans questioned the lack of multiculturalism over a sitcom based on a cultural melting pot.

Difficult decisions: Director Ben Winston responded to criticism that Friends: The Reunion lacked diversity last month

“We’ve got Malala, Mindy Kaling, BTS,” Winston said. ‘There are three women from Ghana, one who tells how Friends saved her life. Two boys from Kenya. Three children in India.’

“What more diversity do they want in this reunion?” he continued. “The cast is the cast. It was made in 1994. I find it remarkable how well it stands the test of time.’

Winston noted that “not everyone could join in” when asked why none of the show’s few black actors joined the reunion.

Trying his best: During a sit-down with The Times, Winston noted several inclusion efforts after fans questioned the lack of multiculturalism over a sitcom based on a cultural melting pot;  seen in 2017

Trying his best: During a sit-down with The Times, Winston noted several inclusion efforts after fans questioned the lack of multiculturalism over a sitcom based on a cultural melting pot; seen in 2017

“We didn’t mean to have an all-white cast,” says Friends creator Kevin Bright. “That wasn’t the goal either. Of course the chemistry between these six actors speaks for itself’

“I’m very happy with the show we’ve been able to put together,” he added.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Friends co-creators Kevin Bright and Marta Kauffman discussed the show’s diversity issues.

“There are different priorities these days and so much has changed,” Bright said. “It’s important that today’s shows are a reflection of what society really is like.”

“We didn’t mean to have an all-white cast,” he continued. “That wasn’t the goal either. Of course the chemistry between these six actors speaks for itself.’

“What more diversity do they want in this reunion?” he continued. “The cast is the cast. It was made in 1994. I find it remarkable how well it stands the test of time’

‘What can I say?’ he added. ‘I wish Lisa was black? I enjoyed this cast. I loved the show and I loved the experience.”

Kauffman noted that there were “probably a hundred things” she would change about the show if she had the chance.

“There are many things I could say if I only knew then what I know now. There was no conscious choice back then,’ Kauffman said. “We saw people of every race, religion, color. These were the six people we cast. So it was certainly not conscious.’

Together Forever: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer joined forces nearly 17 years after the sitcom ended

Together Forever: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer joined forces nearly 17 years after the sitcom ended

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