The hotly anticipated Friends Reunion special, ‘The One Where They Get Back Together’ is arriving on HBO Max in a matter of days. The special will see stars of the hit sitcom Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry come together once again, years after the NBC show’s finale aired. Ahead of the episode, the studio dropped a hype-worthy list of celebrity guests set to make an appearance including K-pop stars BTS, David Beckham, Lady Gaga, Malala Yousafzai, and more. It’s safe to say the show’s massive fandom was thrilled with the surprise. However, disappointed fans rightly pointed out that there isn’t a single Black celebrity on the star-studded guest list.
Friends has always had a diversity problem. In its long run of 9 seasons spanning over a decade, the show has failed time and again to include Black persons with the exceptions of a few recurring supporting stars. The lack of diversity was made so obvious that Black actors weren’t just absent from the main and recurring roles but also among the extras who occupied seats in the background at Central Perk. Fans are being hit with this realization all over again as the Friends Reunion Special guest list leaves out the few Black actors from the show and Black celebrities in general.
Ah yes. FRIENDS.
After convincing us that NYC has no Black or Brown people in it for 9 seasons, they issue a reunion with 25 celebs and somehow evade finding a single Black person. https://t.co/kSYyN3MtQ3
— Del ¦ Rocksteady Dev 🎮 (@TheCartelDel) May 14, 2021
— Leslie Mac (@LeslieMac) May 13, 2021
— Mike Brown (@YoMikeBrown) May 15, 2021
Damn even the Friends reunion decided to stay extremely white. They didn’t even bring their only black cast member back
— Desiree Middlebrook (@desiwiththewine) May 14, 2021
The anticipation around the Friends Reunion special is fueled by nostalgia. Friends with its fun plots, characters, and the relatable premise of “your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s DOA” is one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. It also has an endless rewatch value. But the thing about shows we’re all nostalgic about is that they are often dated. And Friends hasn’t aged well. For a post-Black Lives Matter world where the Oscars had a record number of persons of colour bagging awards, Friends sadly has failed its fans.
So far, the showrunners and HBO Max haven’t commented on any criticisms around the Reunion Special and it might be too late to make programming changes at this point.
Friends Reunion Special will air on May 27, 2021.
Check out the official teaser here:
— HBO Max (@hbomax) May 13, 2021
Cover artwork: Bhavya Poonia/Mashable India
Original posted at in.mashable.com