Jennifer Aniston believes Friends would not be the success it was in the current times.
is an iconic sitcom that needs no introduction. It has captured the hearts of millions of viewers worldwide and remains one of the most popular TV shows ever—airing for a decade, from 1994 to 2004.
The show also won numerous awards, including six Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. The show's viewership numbers were equally impressive, with the final episode of the show attracting over 52 million viewers.
is widely regarded as a cultural phenomenon that has profoundly impacted popular culture. The show's enduring popularity has been a testament to its witty writing, relatable characters, and impeccable comedic timing.
It was the quintessential sitcom that captured the essence of '90s culture, and its influence can still be felt today. The show has been praised for its portrayal of friendship, love, and the struggles of young adults trying to navigate their way through life.
However, in recent years, there has been a growing debate about the show's relevance today, with some critics arguing that its outdated elements have made it offensive to specific audiences. One cast member was very vocal about her opinion of the show's legacy.
While speaking to her thoughts on the show's enduring popularity and how it may not be as relevant today as it was back in the '90s.
Aniston stated, "There are parts of that are sexist, and it is uncomfortable to watch it now. But it was groundbreaking in its time and paved the way for so many shows that followed."
Aniston's comments were met with mixed reactions from fans of the show, with some agreeing with her sentiments and others feeling that the show should be viewed through the lens of the time it was made.
However, the show's creators: Marta Kauffman and David Crane, have previously expressed similar thoughts on the show's outdated elements, stating that they would approach certain storylines differently if they were to make the show today.
stated there's a whole generation of people [kids] who are "going back to episodes of and finding them to be offensive." But, the actress states, the offensive parts were never intentional:
"There were things that were never intentional and others … well, we should have thought it through—but I don't think there was a sensitivity like there is now," she said.
Aniston also argued that "it's a little tricky because you have to be very careful" with comedy today, "which makes it really hard for comedians." She added that in the past, "you could joke about a bigot and have a laugh," which was "about educating people on how ridiculous people were," but "now we're not allowed to do that."
The link between and its cultural impact is undeniable. The show's depiction of young, affluent, and predominantly white characters living in New York City became a blueprint for many shows that followed.
It's no surprise that many still consider to be the gold standard for sitcoms, despite its flaws. However, the show's representation of gender, sexuality, and race has come under scrutiny in recent years, with many feeling that the show failed to address these issues in a meaningful way.
The lack of diversity in the show's cast has been a topic of discussion for years, with critics pointing out that the show failed to accurately represent the diverse population of New York City. Co-creator Marta Kauffman has previously expressed regret about the misgendering of Chandler's trans mother in the show. "Pronouns were not yet something that I understood," she admitted to . "So we didn't refer to that character as 'she.' That was a mistake." Kauffman has also apologized for the show's lack of diversity.
Despite the co-creator agreeing with Aniston, her comments have received some criticism online, as some critics have pointed out that continues to be hugely popular among younger viewers. But Aniston isn't the only cast member to critique the show.
who played Ross on the show, spoke about his disappointment in the lack of diversity and how it impacted his experience.
Schwimmer stated: "I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of color. 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."
While Schwimmer and Aniston have both spoken out about the show's portrayal of gender roles as problematic, others, like Matt LeBlanc, who played Joey on the show, feel that it should be viewed through the lens of the time it was made.
disagreeing with the criticism saying, "I've heard those rumors too about people taking potshots at , but I don't want to get into that. I disagree with all that."