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

Asked by: Adam2
  • The one with Ross's tan and Diana Ross

    Found it pretty rude to watch Ross gradually turn blacker throughout an episode, and also rude when Monica's humidly puffed hair was likened to Diana Ross followed by insults of the Supremes etc.
    Overall the show was very funny but stunningly non-diverse, even for 90's-00's diversity was present in many other shows. We can't always forgive things because we think they are "Part of the time"

  • 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.

  • I don't think so

    So I'm black and this is one of my favorite shows. I don't believe this to be racist but just that people are hypersensitive. Most of the people commenting on the "yes this is racist" side are not black. I honestly don't think that someone who isn't black has a right to say what is or is not offensive towards black people. Yes there is a lack of diversity of the main cast but does that really matter. Like this show was made in the 90's and even though there were shows with diverse casts this one was not. Yes it is about privileged white people and that's okay honestly. People are acting like there cannot be more white people than other minorities in something or it's racist. Honestly sometimes black people don't even want to partake in things like this because they think it's lame or gay or unreasonable.
    Some of the things done on here probably were not considered racist back then. But now with so many more people being aware of things that could be potentially racist they find things from old shows that clearly were not meant to be racist and try to twist it around.
    I think if you are not black and until you have actually experienced someone being racist towards you then you have no right to say if something is racist or not. Because you do not know what racism is or how it actually feels like. It's not just a lack of diversity of a cast or taking about white issues, or even inappropriate jokes. It all depends on the person and their experiences and how they feel. So before someone that is not Black tries to say something about how the black people feel. Remember that you can speak for black people because you are not black and have no say on how the general black community feels. As I said it all depends on a person.

  • Get Over It

    Like all liberals, looking for racism where it doesn't exist is a favorite pastime for them. Friends was made for people at a certain point in their lives. Yes, the cast was mostly white. Take a look around people, the US is mostly white, So what? I watched the Cosby show. It was mostly black. I never considered it racist. Watched a lot of shows with actors of all skin colors. I was more interested in the content then the color. So let's not go looking for racism where it doesn't exist. Get over it.

  • Not a racist show

    Certainly not a racist show, i mean with some stupid examples u cant tell that its racist, in one episode ross finds a girl and is disappointed about the fact that her new date could be a racist, and referring of charlie as a hottie and ross dating chandler, the show can't be told a racist one

  • Not a racist show

    Certainly not a racist show, i mean with some stupid examples u cant tell that its racist, in one episode ross finds a girl and is disappointed about the fact that her new date could be a racist, and referring of charlie as a hottie and ross dating chandler, the show can't be told a racist one

  • Big lack of diversity but not racist

    NYC as a whole was not portrayed well (most likely due to the show being shot in LA) but I would not consider it to be racist. The main cast was white but even in early season 2 Ross' girlfriend, Julie, was Asian and she was portrayed as kind, intelligent and I really enjoyed their relationship. That relationship lasted over multiple episodes. 20 years later, people are (thankfully) more aware of what would be consider offensive to others and certain jokes (aka Ross' tan) are bits that no TV show would do now in 2018 since it is too similar to black face. I remember laughing at the joke as a teenager (nearly 20 years ago) but finding the joke not funny in recent years. Was the joke meant to be racist? No. Is it an appropriate joke? No. Do I understand how it can be offensive to others? Yes. You can't label 10 years worth of comedy racist when the show as a whole was not.

  • Nope. Just Comedy.

    It is a comedy sitcom. There are very few characters of color on the show but that does not make it racist. It was created before there was an awareness of the concept of purposely diversifying entertainment (which is fine, albeit artistically limiting) There have been many fabulous shows that have all black casts. People write what they know. If the creators, being white, had written in more characters of color, I can guarantee that there would be people complaining that they were not written accurately, that they were somehow portrayed in a racist manner. It is a comedy. Just LAUGH. Maybe the creators just wrote characters they could identify with culturally? Or maybe they ARE racist; I don’t know because I don’t know them or how they treat people. But the show itself is not racist. I love a funny show and if I watch a show or a movie that has no white people in it or in which the white people are portrayed as stupid, shallow or in some way evil, I will still laugh. Because that is what comedy is for. I worry that at the rate we are going, we will no longer be able to HAVE comedy. Everyone is overly sensitive now. Treat everyone you meet with respect and confront actual hatred when you see it. That’s doing your part, not typing blog posts blasting one of the funniest shows to ever hit television.

  • 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.


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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.