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

Asked by: Adam2
  • 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.

  • Could have been better regarding race representation

    Friends is my favorite tv show, nevertheless, since it is placed in NYC, one of the most diverse cities in the world, and since the show lasted for so long, it would have been plausible seeing more asians, latins or black people. They could have been coworkers, other friends, dates, etc. Nevertheless, racial diversity was not completely absent, I can recall Julie, Charlie, Kristen (the girl who moved and both Ross and Joey dated), Julio (the guy Monica dated while working at the diner), Gunther had Dutch ascendance, there was the Dutch girl Joey and Chandler wanted to date while playing football and just as someone mentioned Joey has italian roots and Monica and Ross are jewish. Friends is a great amazing show, and it was probably not intentionally racist, but since the location is NYC, it could have done beber. Still it is my favorite show whatsoever.

  • Cast of only white

    Minorities were never given major roles, first major black role was given 7 years after the start of the show and it only lasted for 3 episodes, a show cast in Manhattan never seemed to have not much interaction with minorities. Almost suggesting the idea that Manhattan is for the white middle class and higher only

  • Cast of only white

    Minorities were never given major roles, first major black role was given 7 years after the start of the show and it only lasted for 3 episodes, a show cast in Manhattan never seemed to have not much interaction with minorities. Almost suggesting the idea that Manhattan is for the white middle class and higher only

  • Cast of only white

    Minorities were never given major roles, first major black role was given 7 years after the start of the show and it only lasted for 3 episodes, a show cast in Manhattan never seemed to have not much interaction with minorities. Almost suggesting the idea that Manhattan is for the white middle class and higher only

  • Friends lack of long term non-white characters isn't something you can ignore...

    Likewise, the all white producers were VERY aware to only pair the MALE leads with mixed race relationships (Ross with Julie and Charlie, Joey with Charlie).

    This is because they would be very wary of the 'danger' of pairing any of the female leads with a non-white male. In fact, Rachel, Monica and Phoebe barely even SPEAK to any man who isn't white in the entire series! Given how many guys each of them date throughout the show, this is clearly a deliberate, racist stance from the show's producers.

    It's unrealistic, and clearly something that didn't occur unintentionally.

    Thus Friends, while in many ways a great sit-com, was a racist show.

  • Only white cast

    They are all white I don't think a black cast member or of anyother ethnicity were playing in main parts not even for one small parts in one show- the cast never dated out of their race either I think you'll be lucky to any non white main cast members

  • Monica's hair was somewhat offensive

    When the gang goes to Barbados, Monica's hair gets frizzy due to the humidity. Monica was belittled for her "frizzy hair," which propted her to "fix it" by getting cornrows, for which she was also belittled. It's an all-too-familiar struggle to POC, not to mention the cultural appropriation (which I can mostly excuse because it was not a widely discussed issue at the time).

  • 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.

  • Not at all.

    Never did. Just showed a bunch of average people. If they wanted to make it racist they could've picked people on race instead of who would fit the character best, but lucky this isn't a racist show. They even tried to combat this so called racism by adding in minority actors for some minor roles through out the show. Now some might say they should have been given some major roles, but by that time they were all full with real actors, not people just chosen because they were dark skinned and was the politically correct thing to do. If there was a TV show in Japan with only Japanese people, would you find it racist?


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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.