David Schwimmer Says the Lack of Representation on Friends 'Felt Wrong'

"I really felt like Ross should date other people, women of all races," David Schwimmer said

David Schwimmer
David Schwimmer. Photo: Dave J Hogan/Getty

David Schwimmer is speaking out about the lack of diversity on Friends, asserting that not enough was done on the sitcom to represent people of all backgrounds.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Schwimmer explained that while he pushed for more diversity on the show, the series could have done more when it came to diversifying its cast.

"It felt wrong that there was not enough representation on the show," the actor said.

Friends, which has become one of the most popular sitcoms of all time, featured predominantly white characters during its 10-season run.

Schwimmer explained that while advocating for diversity on the hit series, he specifically tried to surround his own character — divorced paleontologist Ross Geller — with all kinds of people.

The 53-year-old said that he "really felt like Ross should date other people, women of all races."

Apart from his off-again-on-again relationship with Jennifer Aniston's character, Rachel Green, in season 2 of the series, Ross dated Julie, played by Asian American actress Lauren Tom, and courted Charlie, played by African American actress Aisha Tyler, in seasons 9 and 10.

Schwimmer, however, applauded the series for pushing the boundaries surrounding conversations about sex and sexuality at the time.

"[Friends] was doing some incredible things," he told the outlet. "If you remember the pilot, my character was losing his wife to a woman. The way they portrayed gay marriage on the show and how we as a family made it work, I thought was great."


The actor shared similar sentiments with The Guardian in January, explaining that he was "well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of color."

Schwimmer, who currently stars on the British TV comedy series Intelligence, then added that he would like to see a reimagined version of Friends with a more diverse cast.

“Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends," he said.

And as coronavirus continues to delay production of many television and film projects, Schwimmer told ET that he has "no idea" when they will be able to film the upcoming HBO Max Friends reunion, which was announced in February.

"I can tell you that we are hoping to shoot [the reunion] in August, in mid-August, but honestly, we will do it when it’s safe," he explained, adding, "There has always been a hope that a component of that reunion show will have a live audience, which makes the whole thing really tricky. We are obviously not going to risk anyone’s health by doing this."

Friends aired from 1994 to 2004 on NBC and starred Schwimmer, Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry as a group of friends in New York City.

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