Jennifer Aniston says ‘whole generation’ finds Friends offensive today
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Jennifer Aniston has said there’s a ‘whole generation’ of people who find Friends offensive.
The 54-year-old who played Rachel Green in the hit sitcom throughout its ten-year run has said she believes that ‘comedy has evolved’ over the years, so today’s audiences can be a little shocked by what was deemed appropriate back in the 90s.
Aniston, who was promoting her new flick Murder Mystery 2, told AFP that things are a little trickier nowadays, which can make it 'really hard for comedians’.
"There's a whole generation of people, kids, who are now going back to episodes of 'Friends' and find them offensive,” she said.
"There were things that were never intentional and others... well, we should have thought it through - but I don't think there was a sensitivity like there is now."
Going on to say that comedy and movies have ‘evolved’, Aniston added: “Now, it's a little tricky because you have to be very careful, which makes it really hard for comedians, because the beauty of comedy is that we make fun of ourselves, make fun of life.”
She said that, back in the day, it was fine to ‘joke about a bigot and have a laugh - that was hysterical. And it was about educating people on how ridiculous people were’, but claimed that ‘now we're not allowed to do that’.
In recent years, viewers have criticized the show for not aging particularly well. In 2019, Friends writer Marta Kauffman admitted the show might not necessarily have used ‘the appropriate terms’ when referring to transgender people and so would go about it differently if they were to film it again.
Kauffman said: “I think we didn’t have the knowledge about transgender people back then, so I’m not sure if we used the appropriate terms.
“I don’t know if I would have known those terms back then. I think that’s the biggest one."
When asked to confirm if she meant the storyline about Chandler Bing’s dad, Kauffman said: “Yes, Chandler’s dad.”
Fans of the show may remember, Chandler’s dad Charles was played by Kathleen Turner; Charles had a drag show called Viva Las Gaygas in which she went by the name Helena Handbasket.
Turner has also shared her thoughts on the role, telling the Gay Times: “I don’t think it’s aged well. It was a 30-minute sitcom. It became a phenomenon, but no-one ever took it seriously as a social comment.
“How they approached me with it was, ‘Would you like to be the first woman playing a man playing a woman?’ I said yes, because there weren’t many drag/trans people on television at the time.”
Topics: Film & TV, Friends, Jennifer Aniston