It’s almost 15 years (!) since the hit T.V. show ‘Friends’ went off the air. The show has been voted the best sitcom of all time, but since it started streaming on Netflix this month, many millennials have been shocked by its themes, perceiving the show as somewhat homophobic and transphobic.
Most of the criticism focuses on the way the show deals with sexuality and gender: younger viewers are offended by the recurring jokes about Ross’ Lesbian ex-wife, for instance, and Chandler’s cross-dressing father.
They have also criticized the show for ‘fat-shaming’ Monica, following the flashbacks to herself as an undesirable fat teenager, and the lack of diversity in the show: it is, to say the least, very white!
It’s amazing how our sensitivity to such issues has changed in the space of just one generation.
NB – here’s an article defending Friends, suggesting that it isn’t actually homophobic etc.
The Week, 20th January 2018