Friends creator deeply regrets misgendering Chandler Bing’s trans parent: ‘That was a mistake’

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Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman has branded the treatment of Chandler Bing’s parent and the lack of diversity in the 90s sitcom a ‘mistake’.During an interview with The Conversation on the BBC World Service, the Grace and Frankie showrunner expressed deep regret over the representation of Chandler Bing’s transgender parent Charles (Kathleen Turner).Charles had a drag show called Viva Las Gaygas in which she went by the name Helena Handbasket, although her trans identity was never addressed and other character referred to her by using the incorrect pronouns he/him.‘We kept referring to her [Chandler’s transgender parent] as “Chandler’s father”, even though Chandler’s father was trans.

Pronouns were not yet something that I understood. So we didn’t refer to that character as ‘she’. That was a mistake,’ Kauffman admitted.Kauffman also addressed similar criticism that Friends did not feature enough diverse actors, with the show only starring two notable Black characters across 10 seasons.

They were Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) and Joey Tribbianni’s (Matt Le Blanc) mutual love interest Kristen (Gabrielle Union) and Ross’ girlfriend Charlie Wheeler (Aisha Tyler).The 65-year-old producer acknowledged that she had contributed to ‘systemic racism’ in the entertainment business while Friends was on air.Kauffman said: ‘Friends has been criticised in a number of ways.

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