AceShowbiz - Marta Kauffman has admitted "Friends" bosses made a "mistake" by using the wrong pronouns to describe a transgender character. Weighing on the reference of Chandler Bing's parent as his "dad" despite identifying as a woman, the hit sitcom's executive producer insisted that bosses on the show should have done better but errors were made due to a lack of understanding at the time.
"We kept referring to her (Chandler's transgender parent) as 'Chandler's father', even though Chandler's father was trans," Marta said when speaking on BBC World Service. "Pronouns were not yet something that I understood. So we didn't refer to that character as 'she.' That was a mistake."
Marta went on to discuss the show's lack of diversity which has attracted plenty of criticism over the years, describing the comments as "valid" and insisting she "feels stupid" for not recognizing the problems. She said, "Friends has been criticized in a number of ways. The biggest one being that we did not have enough representation of Black people."
"And over the course of the last few years I've gotten to the point where I can say unfortunately yes, I am guilty of that," the 65-year-old further acknowledged her contribution to the error. "And I'll never make that mistake again. I was clearly part of systemic racism in our business. I was unaware of that, which makes me feel stupid."
Marta went on to insist criticism of the show's lack of diversity was justified. She added, "That was a very valid, extremely difficult criticism which still … I get emotional about. If I knew then what I know now, there are certain things I would have changed. But I didn't know them and I have since learned."