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Did "Friends" ever strike you as a racist type of show?

Asked by: Adam2
  • Episode with monica's hair

    I am south Asian with totally straight hair and that episode i found really cruel. I know what a sensitive issue hair can be for women with textured hair, especially for women of African descent who have been systematically through centuries of racist agenda, made to feel less attractive.

    Big hair is very beautiful but in that episode they were forcefully trying to shove it upon the viewer that it isn't. And then to add insult to injury, Monica gets her hair braided and is further ridicule. And she herself mocks it as well by behaving like a moron in the episode like getting it stuck in the shower curtain. That hair style is so special and beautiful and they made it into a ridiculous joke.

    I just rewatched the show, and along with overt, there is a lot of subtle racism in it that i just was appalled by. Like in season 9, episode 2, when rachel comes home with the baby and among the gifts, there is a giant gorilla with a tutu and a head band on, and right after that scene ends, the next scene is of chandlers work place and janet hubert is talking. I was already feeling very disappointed how racist this show was and how much so many of us obliviously love it. After I saw that, I found the show to be insidious and very disturbing.

  • It is racist

    It had no minority actors in double-digit episodes. That is too much of a coincidence in my book. Even if it wasn't purposefully racist, it still shows that people are naturally racist. Casting white people just felt more comfortable for the producers. It is unfortunate that we live in this type of society.

  • All major characters are Caucasian - and the first 11 minor characters (by order of number of appearances) are also Caucasian

    All The major characters are Caucasian - and the first 11 minor characters are also Caucasian
    Almost all the minor characters are Caucasian - including all the first 11 minor characters that have the most appearances.
    This means that not only are the main characters white, but most of the minor characters (that are the most active) are also white.

  • Black Hair, African picture w/ Giant Lips, and Charlie as the Whore, African slave statue

    I love "Friends", but it's got some serious issues not only with representation, but it's no secret as to how the writers/casting directors feel/felt about minorities. The end of season up to Season 10 E:1 was so outrageous I can't believe that happened. Monica/ Buckwheat/ Diana Ross/ unattractive/ not a girl were all synonymous with feelings connected to black hair. It was obvious that Monica was wearing a wig & her hair would've looked shorter than that if it were indeed that curly. Shrinkage is real and that wig was not. So insulting.

    Ironically, they chose to do that episode while Charlie was on the set. The correlation (while subtle to audiences not accustomed to identifying racism below the threshold) was clear: Charlie who is often referred to as an intellectual hot giant, cannot escape the ugliness of her race. She cannot wear her natural hair. It must be straightened for her acceptance.

    Furthermore, Charlie is depicted as an opportunist who only dates men that are famous intellectually or otherwise. I ain't sayin' she a gold digger, but she ain't messing with Ross for too long. For this reason, she is flighty, unreliable, non-committal, a whore.

    Message: no matter how smart or beautiful a black woman appears, you cannot trust her.
    So date Rachel instead. Even though she lacks standards (from her own mouth). Interracial dating is OK, screwing is OK, but interracial marriage is a No-no!! Even Ross doesn't marry her! Shocker.

    Painting/mask:

    Ok, there is a painting/ mask that hangs on Joey's apartment wall. It looks like a depiction of a black cartoon w/ lips, eyes, and a nose larger than life and skin darker than the deepest ebony. I felt like I was watching Dumbo when the black cartoons appeared.

    Message: Black people are not attractive.

    Black. Slave statue in Barbados

    Ok, it's like hiding behind some foliage, but I clearly saw a black slave statue lifting its arms up. (End of season 9 & beginning of season 10).

    Message: Black people know your place & submit to your master.

    ** I don't agree with these messages. I just wanted to point them out. I feel Hurt and disappointed. I've clearly watched "Friends" way too often. Can't say I'm ok with them targeting any group of people. So upset.

  • Not just because of the white case, but because of the way they portrayed black people in the show.

    Yes but not just become the lack of diversity. Lots of shows back then lacked diversity. Seinfeld didn't exactly have a ton of minorities on it. What made it racist was the way they portrayed the few minorities the DID have in the show as bit characters, especially at the beginning. They were always in service jobs (maintenance guy, waiters, etc), not part of their personal or professional lives. And the way the portrayed many black characters (Gary kid in "all the candy" -knocks on door in the middle of the night and hits on Monica right in front of her husband), the crazy dancing girl in the "Routine" show. This improved in later years (Chandler's boss that sent him to Tulsa, the advertising boss that hired him, Charlie, etc.). Think it was just a sign of times. Friends was a racist cause American media was/is racist. Maybe it was just a little more racist than average for the time.

  • Not just because of the white cast, but because of the way they portrayed the few black people on the show.

    Yes but not just become the lack of diversity. Lots of shows back then lacked diversity. Seinfeld didn't exactly have a ton of minorities on it. What made it racist was the way they portrayed the few minorities the DID have in the show as bit characters, especially at the beginning. They were always in service jobs, maintenance guy, waiters, retail worker. Never part of their personal or professional lives. Even the way they portrayed that Gary kid looking for candy, like he had no manners and just blatantly hit on Monica. This improved in later years (Chandler's boss that sent him to Tulsa, the advertising boss that hired him, Charlie, etc.). Think it was just a sign of times. Friends was a little racist cause American media was a little racist. Not much more.

  • This shit won't fly in 2017!

    Looking back- I now realise how Friends had 0 diversity! It was a hilarious show and I loved watching it- but being set in NYC- it could've been portrayed way better- the fact that they didn't have much/ lack of characters i.E African American, Asian, Hispanic etc on the show makes it even more blatantly racist- plus it was all about 'white privilege' issues! HIlarious- but yeah totally racist.

  • Afro-American hair insults

    I am sorry to say but: yes, Coming from Eastern Europe, I was not too sensitive about the race, but imagined NYC to be rich in diversities so poor race representation was a bit disappointing. But another thing I really found striking, so much so that I researched the internet several times many years after to see how it is possible it was not a bigger issue in the media.
    I am talking about the one where Monica has the issue with her hair. They all went to vacation to a place where the wet atmosphere caused her hair to curl afro style. The rest of the group, but mainly Chandler and Phoebes'bf Mike, made so many cruel jokes, in very bad taste, and it was so not typical for Friends.
    I still live in Eastern Europe, still love Friends and still would like to forget that episode like it never happened. I imagine that it must had been hurtful for African Americans.

  • The entire cast

    The entire cast, in the diverse culture of New York, is white. There is almost no diversity on the entire show. Even the coffee shop. It makes the show feel very fake, especially since white privledge problems are the only problems in every episode. From Rachel's rich parents wanting a divorce to Phoebe's brilliant boyfriend moving abroad.

  • Not one minority in nyc???? C'mon!!!

    I am an African-American, and I can't stand the show Friends because it is supposed to take place in New York City of all places, and there's NOT ONE minority on the show...No African-American, no Hispanic, no Asian...JUST ALL WHITE. For people who've never been to NYC, if they think the racial make up will look like 'Friends', they will be COMPLETELY SURPRISED on their 1st visit to NYC. I actually think there are MORE minorities than caucasians in NYC.

  • Im Puertorican born in Puertorico!!!!

    Don't dare mess with Friends, yes I agree the cast was all white but who Freaking Cares!!!!! It was a great, funny family friendly show that dealt with issues that EVERYONE was able to relate too. DO NOT MESS WITH MY FRIENDS!!!!! Not everything has to be a damn race thing.

  • No not really

    Look I'm black, I love the show and I don't find it offensive. There are shows with all black cast with little to no white people and white people will find that offensive, which is why it goes to show you can't please everybody cause everyone has their own opinion. I just find it stupid that some black guys don't watch the show just cause the lack of their own race, Yeah the lack of black characters makes the show sometimes unrealistic but take into consideration the shows run time 1994-2004. I'm not saying that there weren't any race relations during that time but not anything like there is now.

  • Um Not Really......

    Look I'm black, I love the show and I don't find it offensive. There are shows with all black cast with little to no white people and white people will find that offensive, which is why it goes to show you can't please everybody cause everyone has their own opinion. I just find it stupid that some black guys don't watch the show just cause the lack of their own race, Yeah the lack of black characters makes the show sometimes unrealistic but take into consideration the shows run time 1994-2004. I'm not saying that there weren't any race relations during that time but not anything like there is now.

  • Um Not Really......

    Look I'm black, I love the show and I don't find it offensive. There are shows with all black cast with little to no white people and white people will find that offensive, which is why it goes to show you can't please everybody cause everyone has their own opinion. I just find it stupid that some black guys don't watch the show just cause the lack of their own race, Yeah the lack of black characters makes the show sometimes unrealistic but take into consideration the shows run time 1994-2004. I'm not saying that there weren't any race relations during that time but not anything like there is now.

  • Um Not Really......

    Look I'm black, I love the show and I don't find it offensive. There are shows with all black cast with little to no white people and white people will find that offensive, which is why it goes to show you can't please everybody cause everyone has their own opinion. I just find it stupid that some black guys don't watch the show just cause the lack of their own race, Yeah the lack of black characters makes the show sometimes unrealistic but take into consideration the shows run time 1994-2004. I'm not saying that there weren't any race relations during that time but not anything like there is now.

  • There are black and gay characters!

    What about phoebe's gay husband and charlie, ross's girlfriend. When saying that manhattan is cosmopolitan so are the characters. Phoebe is from a poor social class as the opposite of rachel who came from a rich background, Joey is from Italy and ross and monica are jewish. Now everyone think if in a show or in movie without any no minorities in it is racist, there are no white character in My wife and kids but no one says it is racist.

  • No it wasn't!

    I wasn't racist. Did you ever think The Cosby Show or The Soul Man as racist? No, because it's okay to have an all black show but if you have an all white show, you're racist! It's not okay to say Friends is racist without calling The Cosby Show or The Soul Man racist.

  • Not really, No.

    As an Asian American who is actually from West Village, I didn't think it was racist- I never paid attention to that aspect before I saw that someone had pointed out its lack of diversity online. Yes, I do think it's representation of New York could've been better, but ultimately it is a cheesy Thursday night sitcom, not a documentary. I agree that there should've been more minority roles, but as a whole, Friends is by no means racist.

  • No Racism Detected

    This show did not pick the actors due to their skin colors, but on which actors fit the bill the best. Furthermore, they even added in African-American and Asian roles in order to appease everyone. Although it may seem racist, it's really not, and this is coming from a person who has roots in both races. It even supports the LGBT!

  • It is not

    There were gays and black guest stars etc. just because a black wasn't a regular doesn't mean it was racist, it just means that those certain people, that happened to be white, fit the role of the character, with their acting, not the way they looked or anything like that.


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justavoice says2016-05-09T07:09:43.103
A few demonstrations of racism have been highlighted here, and I don't have the energy now to add on an extensive argument, but I will urge you guys to watch this one thing I most recently saw. Watch season 6 episode 10 "One with the Routine," and focus on the scene where Joey is dancing with Janine on stage for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. See what the producer tells Joey about Janine, the "dancing girl" Joey is paired up with, and her behavior and try seeing the implications of that. Racism isn't just how many minority characters or lack thereof the show presents, but the underlying tone of certain dialogue or interactions and relationships. I loved Friends, but I've come to see certain thought-provoking things that has made me realize some racism plagues the show.
justavoice says2016-05-09T07:10:35.037
A few demonstrations of racism have been highlighted here, and I don't have the energy now to add on an extensive argument, but I will urge you guys to watch this one thing I most recently saw. Watch season 6 episode 10 "One with the Routine," and focus on the scene where Joey is dancing with Janine on stage for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. See what the producer tells Joey about Janine, the "dancing girl" Joey is paired up with, and her behavior and try seeing the implications of that. Racism isn't just how many minority characters or lack thereof the show presents, but the underlying tone of certain dialogue or interactions and relationships. I loved Friends, but I've come to see certain thought-provoking things that has made me realize some racism plagues the show.
snake2647 says2016-09-29T12:52:30.093
Joke of a show. If you like it, good for you but you obviously read fiction books only and do not like to think beyond your little world. It is as white as the republican party jumping out of an airplane during a blizzard.
snake2647 says2016-09-29T12:52:48.970
Joke of a show. If you like it, good for you but you obviously read fiction books only and do not like to think beyond your little world. It is as white as the republican party jumping out of an airplane during a blizzard.