Friends Reunion slammed for 'lack of diversity' but director hits back saying 'I can't help that the cast is all white'

Friends Reunion slammed for 'lack of diversity' but director hits back saying 'I can't help that the cast is all white'

THE DIRECTOR of the Friends Reunion show has hit out at critics who complained that the programme wasn't ethnically diverse enough.

For the first time in over 17 years, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox and Lisa Kudrow came together to celebrate quite possibly the most beloved sitcom of all time.

Millions around the world tuned in to watch Friends: The Reunion, which aired last month, and while the vast majority had nothing but gushing praise for the show, some took issue with its lack of diversity.

Director Ben Winston snapped back at the picky critics, stating that "the cast is the cast" and that there was nothing he could have done about all six of the main characters being white.

Throughout the series, which ran from 1994 to 2004, there were a small number of BAME stars, such as Charlie Wheeler - portrayed by Aisha Tyler - who appeared in Season 10. None of them however were present at the reunion show.

Despite this, Winston said there were plenty of guest appearances from people of ethnic minority backgrounds throughout the show, so the critics have no basis for their complaints.

Running through some of them, Winston said: "We have Malala, Mindy Kaling, BTS. There are three women from Ghana, one who talks about how Friends saved her life. Two boys from Kenya. Three kids from India.

"What more diversity do they want in this reunion?"

In an interview to The Hollywood Reporter, Friends co-creators Kevin Bright and Marta Kauffman discussed the show's diversity (or lack thereof).

"There are different priorities today and so much has changed," Bright said.

"It's important for today's shows to be reflective of the ways society truly is.

"We didn't intend to have an all-white cast. That was not the goal, either. Obviously the chemistry between these six actors speaks for itself."

Kaufmann added: "Back then, there was no conscious decision. We saw people every race, religion, colour. These were the six people we cast. So it was certainly not conscious."