According to Jennifer Aniston, her iconic sitcom Friends could be considered too offensive for younger audiences if it were to be broadcasted today.
In an interview with AFP in Paris, Jennifer Aniston, who is 54 years old, explained that some episodes of the comedy series, which is still regarded as one of the most beloved shows in TV history, are now being criticized by a new generation of viewers.
Jennifer Aniston stated that although the cast and creative team never had the intention to cause any offense, she admits that more consideration could have been taken during filming.
"There's a whole generation of people, kids, who are now going back to episodes of Friends and find them offensive," she explained.
Over the past few years, there have been complaints from viewers about how Friends portrayed characters who were overweight, particularly in flashbacks featuring Courteney Cox's character Monica, who wore a fat suit. Additionally, some have criticized the show for being transphobic due to the casting of Kathleen Turner as Chandler's father, who was written as an openly gay drag queen despite being played by a woman.
"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," Aniston admitted.
According to Aniston, the rise of cancel culture has made writing comedy a more intricate process.
"Comedy has evolved, movies have evolved," she said. "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."
Previously, "you could joke about a bigot and have a laugh — that was hysterical. And it was about educating people on how ridiculous people were," Jennifer said.
"And now we're not allowed to do that."
Jennifer also insisted: "Everybody needs funny! The world needs humor! We can't take ourselves too seriously. Especially in the United States. Everyone is far too divided."
Although complaints from younger viewers regarding Monica's fat suit and Chandler's cross-dressing father have been ongoing, fans have recently brought attention to a series of instances where male characters on the show made sexist remarks about women which were intended to be comedic.
The way Aniston's character was portrayed in the show's finale has also received backlash, with some viewers objecting to Rachel abandoning her dream job and choosing to stay with Ross when she 'got off the plane'.
All of this follows Aniston's dismissal of the possibility of another Friends reunion, although she acknowledged that the cast will always consider themselves to be a 'family'.
Jennifer Aniston, who portrayed Rachel Green on the television sitcom, referred to the 2021 TV special as their final performance or 'swansong.'
During an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show, Jennifer Aniston shared that she and the rest of the cast still keep in touch and that she occasionally watches the show.
Regarded by many as one of the most successful sitcoms ever, Friends aired for ten seasons from 1994 to 2004, and fans had been eager for a reunion for years.
Seventeen years after the show's conclusion, the highly anticipated Friends reunion finally premiered in 2021, bringing the cast back to the iconic set to reflect on the show's history.
Jennifer Aniston reminisced about her time on Friends while appearing on the chat show alongside her Murder Mystery 2 co-star, Adam Sandler, to promote their upcoming film.
During the interview with host Jonathan, she was asked whether there would be another Friends reunion, to which she replied: "I don't think so. I think that was it, I think that was the swansong. But you do never know."
"Everybody stays in touch. We'll never shake each other. Family forever!" Jennifer explained.
Regarding whether she watches Friends when it airs, the actress added, "I do, once in a while. I'll stand there and go, 'Huh, I don't remember that."
In 2021, the six stars - Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, and David Schwimmer - reunited on the Warner Bros. studio lot.
They reunited at the original filming location for a night filled with laughter, tears, and everything in between.
The Friends reunion special, which premiered on HBO Max in the US and on Sky Go and Now TV in the UK, received an overwhelming response from die-hard fans. The show also featured a series of surprise guest appearances, including David Beckham, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Cindy Crawford.
The Friends reunion special was shot over three days at the Warner Bros. lot, with the iconic fountain from the show serving as a backdrop for the cast's main interview, which was hosted by James Corden of the Late Late Show.
The selection of the British presenter James Corden as the host was quite controversial among fans. Nevertheless, he led a lively discussion during the Friends reunion special, delving into the making of the show and reflecting on the moment each actor landed their iconic part.
The Friends reunion special began with all six actors returning to the legendary set of the sitcom. Jennifer was visibly emotional and struggled to hold back her tears as she embraced Courteney, clearly overwhelmed at the prospect of returning to the series after almost two decades since its conclusion.
The cast went to Stage 24, the original soundstage where Friends was filmed, and it took more than three weeks to rebuild the iconic set after 17 years since the final scenes were shot.
During their visit to the living room set, Jennifer inquired if certain items were still present, while Matt wondered if Courteney's lines were still written on the kitchen table.
Ben Winston, the showrunner of The Late Late Show, was brought on board by Corden to direct and produce the reunion special.
Although the Q&A received some backlash for not exploring topics that most Friends fans weren't already familiar with, it was still a comforting experience for some fans. During the interview, James inquired about the cast members' auditions and other stories from the show's early development.
During the discussion, Aniston disclosed that a producer on a show she was working on provided her with incorrect information during her audition for the role of Rachel. "That show won't make you a star."
Aniston made a surprising confession that she and David Schwimmer had a secret off-screen crush on each other during the filming of Friends, which was a major topic of discussion for fans who were invested in Ross and Rachel's on-screen relationship.
James asked: "It's impossible not to realise and see that you're all young, hot, good looking successful actors, that it's inconceivable to me that there weren't perhaps off-screen romances."
A coughing Jennifer replied: "Well.. I mean, David?" before he added: "The first season, I had a major crush on Jen."
David expressed his sentiments towards Jennifer, saying: "At some point we were both crushing hard on each other but it was like two ships passing because one of us was always in a relationship. So, and we never crossed that boundary, you know we respected that."
Matt expressed his disbelief, saying, "Bullshit!"
Jennifer also recalled the iconic moment in season two when Ross and Rachel shared their first kiss in Central Perk, after Ross discovered that his hidden feelings were mutual.
She told James: "I remember saying one time to David, ''it's gonna be such a bummer if the first time you and I actually kiss is going to be on national television'."
"Sure enough, first time we kissed was in that coffee shop. So we just channeled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel."