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Emmys Producers Explain Why the Friends Cast Wasn’t There for Matthew Perry Tribute

Monday’s Emmys ceremony paid tribute to late Friends star Matthew Perry — but in a night filled with nostalgic reunions, his Friends castmates were nowhere to be found.

The producers did reach out to Perry’s Friends co-stars to participate, but “it’s still very fresh for them,” executive producer Jeannae Rouzan-Clay tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We had talked about it early on,” executive producer Jesse Collins adds, “but I can imagine, from their side, they’re mourning someone who was still very close to them. I can’t speak for them, but we all have to respect that they were their own family. It was probably just a little too soon.”

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During the ceremony’s “In Memoriam” segment, Perry was the last name included, with musicians Charlie Puth and The War and Treaty transitioning to a somber cover of the Friends theme song, “I’ll Be There for You,” as the segment concluded.

Perry died in late October at the age of 54. The actor was discovered unresponsive in the jacuzzi at his Los Angeles-area home by his assistant.

Perry’s role as Chandler on Friends, which ran from 1994 to 2004, made him and his co-stars household names. He was nominated for an Emmy in 2002 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. He was nominated four other times, including twice for his guest work on The West Wing.

Additional TV credits included NBC’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, CBS’ Odd Couple reboot and the short-lived sitcoms Mr. Sunshine (on ABC) and Go On (on NBC).

What did you think of Perry’s Emmys tribute? Hit the comments and let us know.

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