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

Asked by: Adam2
  • The worst was Chandler. . .

    The episode about Monica being engaged ("Monica's Thunder" is in the title) was quite racist with Joey dressed in stereotypical Black clothing, Speaking stereotypically Black, And Chandler immediately reacting as if he were afraid he were going to be robbed. The Chandler character is insistently racist, As he is at other times as well, Hating cornrows, Beads, And Afro hair, Making derogatory, Racist comments. The irony is that Chandler is inadequate in so many ways, But he believes he is superior. He dates women like annoying Janice, Whom not even Joey can stand, And OCD Monica, Who used to be overweight with kinky hair. Chandler hates overweight people, Even though he has put on weight over the years. And he hates kinky hair, Which Monica has naturally. I doubt Chandler would be able to stay married if Monica were not OCD.


    Julie, A temporary Asian girlfriend of Ross, Is a cardboard character to be rode roughshod over and discarded by Ross who really has a thing for Rachael. Charlie's role as a girlfriend of Ross, Almost approached realism, But the writers or producers must not have liked that she was Black and a strong character and not stereotypical. So she was a goner. Systemic racism is interwoven into the series. If you don't see the racism in it, You might want to read the book, "White Fragility. . . :

  • It's a little racist

    I still think the show is hilarious, But there are a lot of cringeworthy moments on this show (including all the transphobia and homophobia and sexist themes). It's not just the show's lack of diversity. Majority of references to black people are a punchline on Friends. Joey dates everybody, And he really only dated 2 black girls in 10 seasons? The racism doesn't come from a hateful place, It's just there.

  • Racial comments and Stereotypes

    Don't get me wrong -- I love the show, But I can't help but notice some racist elements in the show. Most noticeably the way they portray the Gellers. Not to mention all the jokes referencing Chinese (ex. Doing Chinese for sex is questionable) and Indian (baby pooping 10x a day cuz of Indian food)

  • 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.

  • Is not racist

    If you think Friends is a racist show because lack of African Americans on the show, You might as well say the same thing about How I Met Your Mother or That 70s Show. It's not like a show about politics or SJWs. It's just a show about drama between six friends and learning about life. Sure it would've been cool if it were more diverse.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.


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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.
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.
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