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Friends Co-Creator Apologizes for Misgendering Trans Character

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The co-creator of the wildly popular '90s television sitcom Friends regrets misgendering the transgender parent of one of the show's main characters.In an interview one week after she pledged a donation to compensate for the show's lack of racial diversity, Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman addressed the trans issue.In a segment slated to air on BBC World Service's The Conversation next Monday, Kauffman apologized for referring to Matthew Perry's character Chandler Bing's transgender mother as his "father.""Pronouns were not yet something that I understood," Kauffman told the BBC,which published excerpts of the interview online and shared them with several news outlets. "So we didn't refer to that character as 'she.' That was a mistake."Kathleen Turner, who played the character in question, Helena Handbasket, said on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in 2019 that she wouldn't have accepted the role if it were offered to her again because real transgender people could play that character now.There were numerous jokes about Chandler's "dad" on the show.

Furthermore, the show conflated drag queens with transgender people, as Helena Handbasket had a drag show called Viva Las Gaygas.

Kauffman confirmed that Chandler's "father" was trans, but the series never explicitly addressed her gender identity."How they approached me with it was, 'Would you like to be the first woman playing a man playing a woman?' I said yes because there weren't many drag/trans people on television at the time," Turner told Gay Times at one point. "It became a phenomenon, but no one ever took it seriously as a social comment."It's not the first time Kauffman has addressed some of the show's more problematic elements."I think we didn't have the.

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