AceShowbiz - David Schwimmer says the critics are right over a lack of diversity in "Friends". Reflecting on the sitcom, the 56-year-old actor agrees with people who point out that there was "no real representation" in terms of people of colour and the fact he is Jewish was only mentioned "one or twice."
"The show was supposed to be taking place in New York in a city that's very diverse, but had no real representation of other minorities, of people of colour. I think the criticism is appropriate. But in terms of the Jewishness, that was something I think was only mentioned a couple of times, like the holiday armadillo that I played," he said when speaking to David Baddiel on the comedian's new documentary "Jews Don't Count".
In the episode "The One with the Holiday Armadillo", David's character Ross Geller had to resort to the last costume left in the shop. Badiel suggested to the actor that people would "get aggressive about it" if he'd tried to point out the cast did have "a minority." David replied, "You're right, people would just be like, 'Not a real minority!' "
Meanwhile, the star insisted he found it "bizarre" that some people don't recognise antisemitism as racism. He said, "The idea that antisemitism, or treatment or acts or behaviour against Jews is not racist by definition is bizarre to me. Because then the logical conclusion people make is that Jews aren't a race."
Baddiel insisted "whether Jews are a race biologically is irrelevant" in his eyes because Jewish people have been "racialised" throughout history.
David also reflected on his experiences growing up in a Jewish family and he noted, while he's had the "privileges" of a straight, white man, he doesn't feel like he belongs. He added, "I've never felt white. Never. I'm highly aware that I pass as white and I enjoy a lot of the privileges of being a straight white man, able-bodied, I understand it and I'm aware of my privileges."
"But for me, [growing up] the fact that in my own country, just a couple of States away, just being Jewish, even though I wasn't religious, my life was at risk. For me, I never felt white because, for me, white means safe."