October 5, 2022

Taylor Daily Press

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'Friends' creator donates $4 million to university to make up for diversity shortage in sitcom |  Instagram HLN

‘Friends’ creator donates $4 million to university to make up for diversity shortage in sitcom | Instagram HLN

Famous PeopleDespite being likable, the popular sitcom Friends in recent years has been criticized for its lack of variety. For a long time, creator Marta Kaufmann dismissed this criticism as nonsense, but now she has come to her senses. She said this in an interview with “Los Angeles Times”. To make up for this, she is now donating $4 million (€3.8 million) to a local university.

For a long time, Marta Kaufman thought it was unfair for “Friends” to be criticized for its lack of diversity. “It was hard and frustrating,” she said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. But that has now changed. “After what happened to George Floyd, I began to wrestle with the idea that I was subconsciously participating in systemic racism. I knew I had to adjust myself,” it seems. “I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years. Admitting you’re guilty and accepting that isn’t easy. It hurts to look at yourself in the mirror. And I’m ashamed that 25 years ago I didn’t know anything better.”

But Kaufman is determined to do better. And for this she promised to donate $4 million (€3.8 million) to Brandeis University in Boston, where she also attended the school. With this money, the university could attract a professor specializing in African culture and the African diaspora and expand the Department of African American and African Studies. It feels like I can finally mean something. “I want to make sure that from now on, I consciously hire people of color and actively seek out writers of color in every production I participate in. I want to make sure that I act differently from now on. And then it will really be like taking the weight off my shoulders.”

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Although the series is set in New York, a metropolitan city, the cast consists of six main white characters who barely interact with blacks, browns, or Asians. According to Kaufman, nearly all of the ’90s soap operas were “white,” but gained new insights after the murder of George Floyd in 2020. He died after then-agent Derek Chauvin pressed his knee to his neck for minutes.

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