David Schwimmer has responded to Erika Alexander on Twitter regarding his comments about his TV show Friends. During a recent interview with The Guardian, Schwimmer talked about diversity and Friends and he said that he was “very aware of my privilege as a heterosexual white male.” He said that he doesn't believe any of the original Friends cast has the desire to reprise their old characters but he thinks that should be an “all black Friends” or “an all Asian Friends.” Of course, as we all know the 90s sitcom Living Single came out one year before Friends.
After the news broke, social media went wild, with Living Single trending. Erika tweeted to David, “Hey @DavidSchwimmer @FriendsTV – r u seriously telling me you’ve never heard of #LivingSingle? We invented the template! Yr welcome bro. ;).”
David responded to Erika, saying that his comments were taken out of context. He explained, “Hi Erika. As you know, I was asked recently in an interview for ‘The Guardian’ how I felt (for the thousandth time) about a reboot of ‘Friends’ immediately following a conversation about diversity on the show, and so offered up other possibilities for a reimagining of the show today. I didn’t mean to imply ‘Living Single’ hadn’t existed or indeed hadn’t come before ‘Friends,’ which I knew it had.”
He continued, “Please remember in an interview quotes are often pieced together and taken out of context, and then these quotes are repurposed in other articles by other people who are trying to be provocative.” He added, “I was a fan of ‘Living Single,’ and was not implying ‘Friends’ was the first of its kind.” David went on to admit that if his quotes were taken out of context, “it’s hardly in my control.”
He also said that he doesn't really know if Friends was inspired by Living Single. He wrote, “To my knowledge, ‘Friends’ (which came out a year later) was inspired by Marta and David’s own lives and circle of friends living in NY in their twenties. If it was based on ‘Living Single’ you’d have to ask them. It’s entirely possible that Warner Brothers and NBC, encouraged by the success of ‘Living Single,’ gave the ‘Friends’ pilot a green light. I honestly don’t know, but seems likely! If that’s the case, we are all indebted to ‘Living Single’ for paving the way. I assure you I meant no disrespect.”