Actress Quinta Brunson Calls Out Friends For Having ‘No Black Characters’

Quinta Brunson has called out the TV series Friends for having 'no Black characters'.
Credit: NBC

Quinta Brunson has called out the hit TV series Friends for having ‘no Black characters’.

The comedian and actress, 33, is best known for starring in the Emmy-nominated series Abbott Elementary.

Brunson recently joined the list of a number of illustrious celebrities to host Saturday Night Live (SNL).

During her appearance, the As of Yet star took the opportunity to aim a dig at the iconic 90s sitcom.

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During her opening monologue, Brunson recalled how she auditioned to be on the long-running entertainment show but was unsuccessful.

She said: “I wanted to be on SNL back in the day but the audition process seemed long – so instead, I just created my own TV show, made sure it became really popular, won a bunch of Emmys and then got asked to host.

“So much easier, so much easier.”

Brunson then proceeded to break down what her show Abbott Elementary is about – which is when she took aim at Friends.

She continued: “It’s a network sitcom like, say, Friends. Except, instead of being about a group of friends, it’s about a group of teachers.

“Instead of New York, it’s in Philadelphia and instead of not having Black people, it does.”

Quinta Brunson on SNL.
Quinta Brunson took aim at Friends for not having any Black cast members during her SNL monologue. Credit: NBC

Friends has faced criticism in recent times for only featuring non-white actors in smaller roles.

This led to one of the co-creators, Marta Kauffman, addressing the backlash in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, saying: “I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years.

“Admitting and accepting guilt is not easy. It’s painful looking at yourself in the mirror. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know better 25 years ago.

“It took me a long time to begin to understand how I internalised systemic racism.”

She then proceeded to donate $4m (£3.2m) to fund an endowed chair for the African and African American studies department at the university she studied at.

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However, Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe in the show, has defended Kauffman and her co-creator David Crane, in an interview with The Daily Beast.

She said: “Well, I feel like it was a show created by two people who went to Brandeis and wrote about their lives after college.

“They have no business writing stories about the experiences of being a person of colour.”

Jennifer Aniston added to this by saying that there is a whole new generation who now find Friends ‘offensive’.

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.