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When the TV sitcom Friends first premiered in the 1990s, it quickly became a pop culture phenomenon.
The show went on to become much more than a cult immortal classic – it became one of the things that define the very culture it exists in.
However, in later years, the show has been criticized for its lack of diversity and questionable approach to its word choice when it came to some controversial themes.
Some modern audiences have deemed Friends as offensive, particularly to some minorities.
One of the main criticisms of Friends is its lack of diversity. The show's six main characters are all white and heterosexual, and the show has been criticized for its stereotypical treatment of gay characters.
The show has also let itself use the machist rhetoric on much more than one occasion. The depiction of fat-shaming in Friends wouldn't fly with some of the audiences now, in the wake of all-out cancel culture.
Jennifer Aniston, one of the show's stars, spoke out about the criticism during an interview with IndieWire.
While she admits there were some "never intentional" things and moments they "should have thought…through", the principal thing here is that there was not this kind of sensitivity that is commonplace now.
She continues to say that in the comedy genre you now "have to be very careful, which makes it really hard for comedians."
This goes very much in line of what comedian John Cleese said about cancel culture and excessive sensitivity hitting comedy being "death of creativity."
"Everybody needs funny! The world needs humor!" says Aniston and it's hard to argue.
Friends has aired in a time when there was more creative freedom, and cancel culture wasn't affecting comedians as it does today.
Perhaps, it is a good thing we got to have Friends in the 1990s: when making sitcoms started to involve much more consideration of sensitive topics than before, but some time before the current state of sensitivity-driven censorship.