Marta Kauffman, best known as the creator hit sitcom Friends, has admitted she “didn’t do enough” during her career to promote diversity.
Taking part in the 2020 ATX TV… From the Couch virtual panel, the showrunner became emotional when talking about diversity and admitted she could have done more.
She said: “I wish I knew then what I know today. 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?”
She added:, “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.”
Friends was a huge hit and is still popular today, more than 15 years after the final episode aired.
However, it is often criticised when held up to modern standards, with one issue being the shows apparent lack of black and minority characters.
The topic has been discussed often, and Kauffman is the latest person linked to the show to address it.
Earlier this year, David Schwimmer, who played Ross Gellar on the show, admitted to being “well aware” of the lack of diversity, but insisted it was “groundbreaking” in other ways.
He told The Guardian: “I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of colour.
"One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian American woman, and later I dated African American women. That was a very conscious push on my part."
He added: “Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends.”
Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe Buffay, has also commented recently.
She told The Sunday Times last month: “Well, it would not be an all-white cast, for sure.”