Jennifer Aniston says new generations find Friends “offensive”

Jennifer Aniston thinks modern viewers’ sensitivity is getting in the way of enjoying the humor of Friends.

The One Where Friends Falls Victim to Cancel Culture. Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel Green on Friends, thinks overly sensitive viewers just now coming across the sitcom on streaming services are finding certain episodes too “offensive.”

In a recent interview, Jennifer Aniston said, “There’s a whole generation of people, kids, who are now going back to episodes of Friends and find them offensive…There were things that were never intentional and others…well, we should have thought it through–but I don’t think there was a sensitivity like there is now.” As far as if Friends could get made in the same manner as the original 1994-2004 run, Aniston isn’t so sure. “Now it’s a little tricky because you have to be very careful, which makes it really hard for comedians, because the beauty of comedy is that we make fun of ourselves, make fun of life…You could joke about a bigot and have a laugh –that was hysterical. And it was about educating people on how ridiculous people were. And now we’re not allowed to do that.” Despite this, the show had a successful reunion special in 2021.

Jennifer Aniston seems to have a point about Friends and its “problematic” moments. Looking back, some moments on the show have aged poorly under the current climate: Ross unhappy with his son playing with a doll; Chandler held captive by a sexually aggressive date; the recurring joke of fat-shaming a young Monica; Monica having sex with a high schooler; and who can forget spying on Ugly Naked Guy? The show has also come under criticism for the lack of diversity in its cast, which, if you haven’t noticed, is comprised of six white people, making the original title Friends Like Us all the more questionable…

While not a full-on victim of comedy-related cancel culture, the modern criticism of Friends does suggest that the sitcom would be scrutinized on a frequent basis. Yet, to most, these moments are acknowledged for being of that time and thus don’t deserve the microscope. Regardless of any backlash, the show remains one of the most beloved sitcoms in television history.

Do you think Jennifer Aniston raises good points about the perception of Friends in 2023? Could the show get made this way today?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.