Friends Creator Donates $ 4 Million to the African Diaspora Studies Program

He lingered, though Friends Co-creator Marta Kauffman is finally ready to face criticism about the lack of diversity in her sitcom. In an attempt to “correct the course,” Kauffman donated $ 4 million to his alma mater, Brandeis University, to establish an endowed professorship in the school’s African and African American studies department.

Brandeis’s African and African American studies department was founded in 1969 and is one of the oldest departments in the country. Marta F. Kauffman ’78 Profesorship in African and African American Studies will help the department recruit more students and faculty, as well as support a renowned scholar in the program.

Friends has long been criticized for showing almost zero people of color on the show, which is set in New York, everywhere. Lauren Tom, Gabrielle Union, Mark Consuelos, and Craig Robinson all appeared in the sitcom in small roles, while Aisha Tyler, who played Charlie, the paleontology professor Joey and Ross dated, scored the most bloody part for a non -white actor with a stunning nine episodes. Kauffman spent years dismissing whitewashing accusations, but said the murder of George Floyd encouraged him to look inside.

“After what happened to George Floyd I started to struggle with my buying into systematic racism in ways I didn’t know existed,” Kauffman told Los Angeles Times. “That’s really when I started exploring the ways I was involved. I knew before that I needed to straighten out the course. ”

“I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years,” Kauffman added. “It is not easy to admit and accept sin. It hurts so much to look at yourself in the mirror. I’m ashamed that I didn’t know 25 years ago. ”

Despite the “putting [her] kwarta asa [her] mouth is, ”Kauffman insisted that he would also use his much -delayed Racism Realization by making several different television movies going forward. “I have to say, after agreeing to it and when I stopped sweating, it didn’t get me off, but it lifted me up. But until my next production I can do it right, it’s not over yet, ”he said. “I want to make sure from now on in every production I do that I am mindful of getting people of color and actively pursuing young writers of color. I want to know that I will act differently from now on .And then I feel no weight. ”

After the show moved to HBO Max in 2020, the cast of Friends meet again for a a special. Meanwhile, the original series is over censored very severely through streaming services in China that do not have sex and LGBTQ+people.

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