Matt LeBlanc Shuts Down Critics Calling ‘Friends’ Homophobic And Sexist'
There was outrage when articles began springing up about angry viewers calling Friends everything under the sun, including homophobic, transphobic, sexist, misogynistic and fat-shaming. Because the beloved show was added to Netflix, a whole new audience has been able to soak up the classic turn-of-the-century sitcom - and some weren't happy.
But one of the famous six, Matt LeBlanc - aka struggling actor Joey Tribbiani - has slated those who label the show offensive.
"I've heard those rumours too about people taking pot shots at Friends, but I don't want to get into that. I disagree with all that," he said.
"On Friends we steered clear of that kind of thing, too. Friends was about themes that stand the test of time - trust, love, relationships, betrayal, family and things like that."
Matt adds that he tries to avoid any type of humour that could be misconstrued as potentially negative - which is a hard thing to do these days. He adds: "I don't want to make jokes that make people go, 'Ooh, that's not my bag.' I don't like that, I run from that kind of stuff.
"Because that joke isn't going to be relevant in six months. You talk about 'Hey man, you lied to me,' or 'Wasn't that fun?' - that'll always be relevant."
When the accusations first stormed the Twittersphere, many pointed out the idea that you could pretty much choose any sitcom and find something to object to. If you re-watched Sex and the City, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, That '70s Show and even The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, you'd manage to find things that could be racist, homophobic or just plain offensive.
But social values change as time progresses - it's worth remembering that, during its original airing, Friends pushed the envelope though to the point where it was banned in some US states for being too progressive.
That came during the episode affectionately called 'The One with the Lesbian Wedding', when Ross's ex-wife marries Susan. Two network affiliates in Texas and Ohio refused to air the episode on grounds of objectionable content.
It became the second sitcom ever to air a gay marriage, with Roseanne doing so five weeks earlier.
Featured Image Credit: Friends/NBC