Jennifer Aniston says there's a 'whole generation of people' who find Friends 'offensive'
The evolution of comedy has made the arts quite "tricky" for comedians, according to Jennifer Aniston.
The Friends alum reflected on how the entertainment landscape has changed since the era of the sitcom, which debuted on NBC in 1994, acknowledging that a new generation of viewers now find the series "offensive."
"Comedy has evolved, movies have evolved," Aniston told AFP in Paris while promoting Murder Mystery 2, her new comedy film with Adam Sandler. "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."
NBC 'Friends' stars (clockwise) Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, David Schimmer, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, and Courteney Cox
"There's a whole generation of people, kids, who are now going back to episodes of Friends and find them offensive," she said of the sitcom, which has been criticized as racist, homophobic, and sizeist in the modern era. "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."
Perhaps that's why Hollywood has churned out fewer comedies, Aniston contended. "Everybody needs funny! The world needs humor!" she added. "We can't take ourselves too seriously. Especially in the United States. Everyone is far too divided."
Steve Granitz/WireImage Jennifer Aniston
Friends, which ran for 10 seasons between 1994 and 2004, followed six pals (also consisting of Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, and Matt LeBlanc) as they navigated life and love in New York. The sitcom has long been criticized for its lack of diversity, which co-creator and executive producer Marta Kauffman addressed at the ATX TV Festival in 2021.
"It was, to a certain extent, a product of the time period and of my own ignorance," Kauffman said. "There were Black shows and there were white shows. There weren't a lot of shows that were interracial. I wish I knew then what I knew today. I would have made very different decisions. We've always encouraged people of diversity in our company, but I didn't do enough."
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