Jennifer Aniston says you have to be 'careful' with comedy now as a 'whole generation of kids find Friends offensive'

"I don’t think there was a sensitivity like there is now."

Jennifer Aniston
(Image credit: Jason LaVeris / Getty)

It has been 19 years since the Friends finale, but the show has continued to be one of the most popular sitcoms of our time. Whether it's Rachel Green's timeless style or Courteney Cox channeling Monica Gellar on her Hollywood Walk of Fame star recently, those who fell in love with the series in the 90s are long-standing fans of the cast and characters to this day.

However, in recent years the sitcom has been called out for its portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters, body shaming, sexist stereotypes and lack of diversity. 

Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel for ten years, has now spoken about the 'generation of kids' that find the sitcom 'offensive'.

Talking to AFP to promote her upcoming movie, Murder Mystery 2, 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.

"You could joke about a bigot and have a laugh — that was hysterical. And it was about educating people on how ridiculous people were. And now we’re not allowed to do that."

Jen An went on to discuss how Friends is viewed differently with younger audiences,  adding: "There’s a whole generation of people, kids, who are now going back to episodes of Friends and find them offensive. 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."

But she's hoping that comedy is the antidote to the divisions in the US, continuing: "Everybody needs funny. The world needs humour! We can’t take ourselves too seriously — especially in the United States. Everyone is far too divided."

Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman has addressed backlash over the show being 'problematic', telling The Hollywood Reporter in 2021: "There are many things that I could say if I only knew then what I know now...There are probably a hundred things I would have done differently.

"I’ve talked about it in the past, and I do have very strong feelings about my participation in a system, but it comes down to I didn’t know what I didn’t know."

Jadie Troy-Pryde
News Editor

Jadie Troy-Pryde is News Editor, covering celebrity and entertainment, royal, lifestyle and viral news. Before joining the team in 2018 as the Lifestyle and Social Media Editor, she worked at a number of women’s fashion and lifestyle titles including Grazia, Women’s Health and Stylist, and now heads the Marie Claire UK news desk.