Quinta Brunson called out ‘Friends’ sitcom for having ‘no black characters’ during her highly-covered hosting gig on Saturday Night Live.
The 33-year-old actress, writer and producer also took the chance to mention her award-winning series ‘Abbot Elementary’ which follows a group of teachers at a predominantly Black state-funded school in Philadelphia.
She then made comparisons between Abbott Elementary and Friends, saying: “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 also explained more about her show, saying: “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.”
Viewers can be heard cheering in the background as she talked about Friends’ diversity, which has come under the spotlight for its portrayal of LGBTQIA+ and non-white characters.
In 2022, one of the series’ creators Marta Kauffman confessed that she felt ‘embarrassed’ at the lack of diversity that she pledged $4 million to Brandeis University.
“I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years,” Kauffman expressed.
“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.”
She added: “It took me a long time to begin to understand how I internalized systemic rac*sm. I’ve been working really hard to become an ally, an anti-rac*st. And this seemed to me to be a way that I could participate in the conversation from a white woman’s perspective.”
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