Friends: The Reunion director Ben Winston responds to criticism of the show’s lack of diversity – Daily Mail

Director Ben Winston responded to criticism that last month’s Friends: The Reunion lacked diversity.

The 39-year-old producer questioned what more diversity could be offered on the show which first premiered in 1994 and followed a group of six friend navigating love and life in New York City.

During a sit-down with The Times, Winston noted various inclusion efforts after fans questioned the lack of multicultural actors or storylines on a sitcom based in a melting pot of culture.

Difficult decisions: Director Ben Winston responded to criticism that last month's Friends: The Reunion lacked diversity

Difficult decisions: Director Ben Winston responded to criticism that last month's Friends: The Reunion lacked diversity

Difficult decisions: Director Ben Winston responded to criticism that last month’s Friends: The Reunion lacked diversity

‘We have Malala, Mindy Kaling, BTS,’ Winston said. ‘There are three women from Ghana, one who talks about how Friends saved her life. Two boys from Kenya. Three kids in India.’

‘What more diversity do they want in this reunion?’ he went on. ‘The cast is the cast. It was made in 1994. I think it’s remarkable how well it does stand the test of time.’

Winston noted that ‘not everyone could join’ when he was asked why none of the show’s few Black actors participated in the reunion. 

‘I’m really pleased with the show we were able to put together,’ he added. 

Trying his best: During a sit-down with The Times , Winston noted various inclusion efforts after fans questioned the lack of multiculturalism on a sitcom based in a melting pot of culture; seen in 2017

Trying his best: During a sit-down with The Times , Winston noted various inclusion efforts after fans questioned the lack of multiculturalism on a sitcom based in a melting pot of culture; seen in 2017

Trying his best: During a sit-down with The Times , Winston noted various inclusion efforts after fans questioned the lack of multiculturalism on a sitcom based in a melting pot of culture; seen in 2017

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

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

‘We didn’t intend to have an all-white cast,’ Friends creator Kevin Bright said. ‘That was not the goal, either. Obviously, the chemistry between these six actors speaks for itself’

During the Friends: The Reunion special, critics also pointed out what appeared to be Matthew Perry’s difficulty speaking.

Winston had nothing but nice words to say about the 51-year-old actor and chalked up the banter to people just being ‘unkind.’ 

‘I loved working with him. He’s a brilliantly funny man and I thought he had some great one-liners in the show,’ he gushed. ‘I felt just happy and lucky to be in his presence and directing him on something like this.’ 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Friends cocreators Kevin Bright and Marta Kauffman discussed the show’s diversity issues. 

'What more diversity do they want in this reunion?' he went on. 'The cast is the cast. It was made in 1994. I think it's remarkable how well it does stand the test of time'

'What more diversity do they want in this reunion?' he went on. 'The cast is the cast. It was made in 1994. I think it's remarkable how well it does stand the test of time'

‘What more diversity do they want in this reunion?’ he went on. ‘The cast is the cast. It was made in 1994. I think it’s remarkable how well it does stand the test of time’

During the Friends: The Reunion special, critics also pointed out what appeared to be Matthew Perry's difficulty speaking, to which Winston chalked up to people being 'unkind'

During the Friends: The Reunion special, critics also pointed out what appeared to be Matthew Perry's difficulty speaking, to which Winston chalked up to people being 'unkind'

During the Friends: The Reunion special, critics also pointed out what appeared to be Matthew Perry’s difficulty speaking, to which Winston chalked up to people being ‘unkind’ 

‘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,’ he went on. ‘That was not the goal, either. Obviously, the chemistry between these six actors speaks for itself.’

‘What can I say?’ he added. ‘I wish Lisa was Black? I’ve loved this cast. I loved the show and I loved the experience.’

Kauffman noted there were ‘probably a hundred things’ she would change about the show if she had the opportunity.

‘There are many things that I could say if I only knew then what I know now. Back then, there was no conscious decision,’ Kauffman said. ‘We saw people of every race, religion, color. These were the six people we cast. So, it was certainly not conscious.’

Together forever: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer joined forces nearly 17 years after the sitcom ended its run

Together forever: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer joined forces nearly 17 years after the sitcom ended its run

Together forever: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer joined forces nearly 17 years after the sitcom ended its run

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