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CNN: ‘Friends’ Reunion Must Apologize for Problematic Jokes

Anyone with a pulse knew this hot take would arrive sooner than later.

We just learned the “Friends” cast will reunite for a one-time only event to be shown on HBO Max this May. Fans rejoiced over the news, especially since they’ve been clamoring for a reunion since the show signed off in 2004.

‘Friends’ Reunion Special Confirmed: Could We BE More Excited? | TODAY

The other shoe to drop?

Will the stars finally apologize for all those problematic jokes? Yes, in recent years we’ve been pummeled by think pieces saying the show trafficked in unwoke jokes, the kind you just can’t write today.

Because comedy.

Well, whoever had “CNN” in the office pool … come pick up your prize.

Now, we’ll likely see variations on this CNN column shortly. Still, the comically inept network may be the first out of the gate.

And it doesn’t disappoint.

As even devoted fans can recognize now, “Friends” often ended up on the wrong side of cultural history, highlighting many troubling norms of its time. This reunion on HBO Max is a timely opportunity for fans and new observers to ponder exactly why many people still love this show, and to ask what the hopefully older, wiser group of “Friends” might potentially acknowledge on the Central Perk sofa, this time around.

The show’s lack of diversity is the first “problem,” according to CNN. The show also didn’t raise the viewers’ conscious enough during its wildly successful run.

Any point of difference was used as a kooky reference — “Phoebe used to be homeless, so she’s super tough!” — rather than an opportunity to explore a potentially juicy theme or raise viewers’ social consciousness.

This op-ed writer must double as a comedy writer, no? Even when the show was “ahead of its time” that wasn’t enough for CNN. Remember how Ross’s first wife left him for another woman?

While it was unusual in the 1990s to feature a gay female couple on TV, and particularly groundbreaking for its time to feature them as parents, that visibility is undermined by the main joke being that it’s embarrassing for Ross to have been dumped for another woman.

The column goes on, and on, almost as if the great Titania McGrath penned it. The story is a prime example of how wokeness suffocates comedy. We’ll share one more example from the article.

You have to hope that if dating comes up among the “Friends” of 2020, they might at least advocate for doing a few things differently in retrospect — and indeed, all sexual interactions. Joey’s womanizing, Ross’s history as a controlling, jealous boyfriend, and Chandler’s cruel treatment of his girlfriend Janice, are well-documented [emphasis added].

Thought Crime Alert!

It’s a miracle Matthew Perry, who played Chandler Bing during the show’s 10-year reign, hasn’t had to atone for his character’s sins up until now.

A final note:

The “Friends” cast, each of whom could net $3-4 million for the reunion, will absolutely bring up some, if not all, of the above complaints. And, of course, they’ll profusely apologize.


Imagine the press coverage if they don’t.

Today’s stars, from the no-names to the biggest actors on the planet, know going woke is the only acceptable path. Heck, if A-list superstar Scarlett Johnasson bowed to the PC Police not once but twice, than everyone who steps foot in front of a camera today will have to toe the woke line.

Even our dear, departed “Friends.”

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  1. “Woke” cultural Marxism has infected and destroyed everything in it’s path: movies, television shows, commercials, comedy, and even video games. “Woke” propaganda must depict white men as evil or stupid, sexual perversity as wonderful, blacks must be depicted as superior in every way, and a married couple in a healthy heterosexual relationship must be rarer than a hen’s tooth. The American Left’s version of Mao’s hellish Cultural Revolution has only begun, and it will only get much, much worse.

  2. As always, when a show goes “woke,” it will flop. They just can’t leave well enough alone.

  3. The show was successful because it entertains the viewer. If I want to be lectured I’ll be sure to read more articles about “wokeness”, whatever that is.

  4. Once again, the media trying to ‘sway’ the public what to think. Good grief REPORT THE FREAK’N NEWS FOR HELL’S SAKE. What is it with these alphabet ‘news’ stations that they can’t find it within themselves to actually REPORT NEWS? Watch the show (any show) or don’t!

  5. I never watched Friends, but i cant imagine any tv show hurting my feelings more that these diversity and inclusion directives have done. Everything is “woman good, man bad” – how is that entertaining?

  6. “Holly Thomas is a writer and editor based in London.”

    She’s also a victim of female privilege who thinks that everything should revolve around her interpretation of society and its norms. Friends was of its time, and in that time it was ok to have only one type of friends; THAT was the story. It still is ok, but for some reason we’re all supposed to pretend that our lives and preferences are all for “the other” and not for ourselves but don’t be fooled: like still prefers like.

  7. I managed to never see one single episode of Friends – and still haven’t. I worked in DC during its run. I had friends who would mention Friends, but my ignorance of the show never stopped me from being popular myself, and successful professionally. I’ve seen clips through the years – inadvertently – as often referenced on morning shows or even evening newscasts. I’m just not into sitcoms. The jokes are labored, and the fact that you need canned laughter to tell sheep what’s funny is a dead give-away, of course. As to “outdated humor” – that’s almost an oxymoron, no?

  8. Well, I just hope that they cover the very real alcohol and drug addictions of Matthew Perry and Courtney Cox, and how both are working now to stay sober.

    Ha! Who am I kidding? If anyone is cast as an alcoholic in this reunion episode, it will be Matt LeBlanc.

  9. “And, of course, they’ll profusely apologize.


    Imagine the press coverage if they don’t.”

    This comment, and the whole article actually insults me. Who’s going to apologize to me about that? On press, please.

    I’m disgusted by this oversensitivity in these last years. The show was great for its time. No wonder why these newer, more diverse or sexual shows basically suck.

    It’s like being offended why Elvis Presley was I don’t know.. white??

    Grow a pair. Friends is great as it is, and if you’re insulted by any of that, clearly you are not worth the apologize.

    1. One of the great things about shows that are not on anymore is that you don’t have to watch them if you are going to be offended (since you usually have to make some sort of effort to cause it to be on your TV). If you are the type to be offended by Friends, you would know it by now even if you haven’t watched it.

  10. Yet Hollywood’s audience and profits continue to plummet like a paralyzed falcon, how very strange.

  11. Yet somehow, despite being non-woke, Friends is incredibly popular with today’s 20-somethings. It’s almost as if the show delivers something that today’s woke shows do not.

    Like humor.

  12. I will watch only to see if Jennifer Anistons nipples are featured as prominently now, as then.

    But I am a guy, and do not care about being woke.

  13. CNN has buried the reality of racist violence against whites for its entire history. They literally are guilty of enabling, if not sponsoring, racist rape and murder, including the rape and murder of children. If they and their colleagues in the media had treated these crimes as seriously as they treat flyers saying “It’s OK to be white” most of these people would not have been victimized. They know it, but remain silent.

  14. If they were rightfully and delightfully unrepentant about entertaining millions of Americans for decades then, perhaps, we might be spared calls for further reunions.

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