Jennifer Aniston Knows the Younger Generations Find "Friends" Offensive: There's New "Sensitivity"
Jennifer Aniston is aware of the fact that younger generations have discovered “Friends” years after it originally aired — and found more than a few issues with it and other comedies that haven’t aged well. Now, she’s addressing the critiques in a March 27 interview with AFP while promoting her movie “Murder Mystery 2.” “There’s a whole generation of people, kids, who are now going back to episodes of ‘Friends’ and [finding] them offensive,” she said. “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.”
“Friends,” which aired originally from 1994-2004 and has found a new audience through streaming, has received flack for a number of reasons over the years. Fans have called out the show’s overt fatphobia, homophobia, sexism, and lack of diversity, to name a few issues, and the series’s showrunners have also spoken out about regretting certain decisions they made on the show, such as misgendering Chandler’s transgender parent. Still, the series launched all of its stars to lasting fame and remains a nostalgic favorite, inspiring everything from children’s books to immersive experiences.
In her AFP interview, Aniston also addressed the current state of comedy, in general. “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,” she said. “[In the past] 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.”
Ultimately, Aniston said she feels like, “Everybody needs funny! The world needs humor! We can’t take ourselves too seriously. Especially in the United States. Everyone is far too divided.”
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