Former Friends star David Schwimmer recently drew the ire of actress Erika Alexander after suggesting that there should be a reboot of Friends with a minority cast.
Social media roasted Schwimmer as well, mostly saying that there was already such a show with Living Single, which Alexander starred in. Now Schwimmer is responding to that criticism.
He took to Twitter and replied to Alexander’s criticism in a statement. “Hi Erika. As you know, I was asked recently in an interview for The Guardian how I felt (for the thousandth time) about a reboot of Friends immediately following a conversation about diversity on the show, and so offered up other possibilities for a reimagining of the show today,” he wrote. “I didn’t mean to imply Living Single hadn’t existed or indeed hadn’t come before Friends, which I knew it had. Please remember in an interview quotes are often pieced together and taken out of context, and then these quotes are repurposed in other articles by other people who are trying to be provocative.”
He continued: “I was a fan of Living Single, and was not implying Friends was the first of its kind. To my knowledge, Friends (which came out a year later) was inspired by [series creators] Marta [Kaufmann] & David [Crane]’s own lives and circle of friends living in NY in their twenties. If it was based on Living Single you’d have to ask them. It’s entirely possible that Warner Brothers and NBC, encouraged by the success of Living Single, gave the Friends pilot a green light. I honestly don’t know, but seems likely! If that’s the case, we are all indebted to Living Single for paving the way.”
Schwimmer concluded: “In any event, if my quote was taken out of context, it’s hardly in my control. I assure you I meant no disrespect. David.”
Living Single, which featured a majority Black cast, followed the lives of several single roommates and friends who lived in Brooklyn, New York. It aired for five seasons from 1993 to 1998.
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