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Tags: friends | creator | marta kauffman

'Friends' Creator: Show Made 'Mistake' Using Wrong Pronouns

marta kauffman attends an event
Marta Kauffman (Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images,)

By    |   Wednesday, 06 July 2022 01:07 PM EDT

"Friends" co-creator Marta Kauffman admitted that the 1990s sitcom used the wrong pronouns for Chandler's transgender parent.

"We kept referring to her as Chandler's father, even though Chandler's father was trans," Kauffman told BBC of the character, who was played by Kathleen Turner. "Pronouns were not yet something that I understood. So we didn't refer to that character as she. That was a mistake."

Turner's character, who appeared in three episodes in Season Seven, was the butt of many jokes made by Matthew Perry's Chandler and various other characters in the show. 

Speaking with the Gay Times, Turner said the character was never acknowledged as trans and was instead referred to as either gay or a drag queen called Helena Handbasket.

"Yeah, people thought Charles was just dressing up," she added. 

Kauffman told BBC she would do things differently if she was working on "Friends" now. In addition to using the incorrect pronouns, the sitcom also "did not have enough representation of Black people" and was "clearly part of systemic racism in our business."

"I was unaware of that, which makes me feel stupid," Kauffman said, adding: "That was a very valid, extremely difficult criticism which still ... I get emotional about."

The interview comes days after Kauffman revealed she was donating $4 million to her old university, Brandeis in Massachusetts, as an apology for the lack of diversity in "Friends." The donation will go toward funding an endowed chair in the school's African and African-American studies department, one of the oldest in the country.

"It took me a long time to begin to understand how I internalized systemic racism," Kauffman told Brandeis. "I've been working really hard to become an ally, an anti-racist. 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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TheWire
"Friends" co-creator Marta Kauffman admitted that the 1990s sitcom used the wrong pronouns for Chandler's transgender parent.
friends, creator, marta kauffman
306
2022-07-06
Wednesday, 06 July 2022 01:07 PM
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