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Friends reunion: Backlash over failure to include Black celebrity guests

The Friends reunion line-up has been criticised by fans (Picture: NBC)

The hotly anticipated Friends reunion has sparked fierce criticism from fans after bosses failed to secure any Black celebrity guest stars.

The upcoming one-off episode, which is set to air on HBO Max on May 27, will see David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry come together.

They will also be joined by a number of guest stars, such as Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai and BTS.

However, many fans have pointed out that not a single Black celebrity has been booked to appear.

‘After convincing us that NYC has no Black or Brown people in it for 9 seasons, they issue a reunion with 25 celebs and somehow evade finding a single Black person,’ wrote one.

‘The premise of the Friends reunion episode will be: the Friends still don’t know any Black people,’ another added, in reference to the line-up.

Friends reunion cast

18 celebrities will be joining the Friends cast (Picture: HBO Max)

Other celebrities set to feature in the episode include Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Cindy Crawford, Reese Witherspoon and Game Of Thrones actor Kit Harrington.

Last year, Friends creator Marta Kauffman admitted she ‘didn’t do enough’ to promote diversity on the show.

The sitcom has long been criticised for casting only two people of colour over 10 years, as well as for using un-PC stereotypes as punchlines.

There’s also an alarming shortage of non-heterosexual characters on the show.

Addressing the lack of inclusion in the cast and storylines at the virtual 2020 ATX Festival, Marta teared up as she expressed her regret.

The writer and producer said: ‘I wish I knew then what I know today.’

Marta went on: ‘Sorry, I just wish I knew then what I know now. I would’ve made very different decisions.

‘I mean we’ve always encouraged people of diversity in our company, but I didn’t do enough and now all I can think about is what can I do?

‘What can I do differently? How can I run my show in a new way? And that’s something I not only wish I knew when I started showrunning, but I wish I knew all the way up through last year.’

Cast member David also revealed he called on producers of Friends to increase the diversity among its cast members, ‘campaigning’ for Ross Geller to date women of colour.

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MORE : Friends fans ‘appalled’ as Paul Rudd is missing from reunion despite James Corden and Kit Harington appearances confirmed


MORE : When will the Friends reunion air in the UK? Date, cast, trailer and everything we know

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