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Marta Kauffman on why ‘Friends’ lacked diversity: ‘My own ignorance’

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On Sunday’s CNN special History of the Sitcom, a conversation about the classic show Friends brought up what has become a common theme lately: the show’s lack of diversity. The topic was broached by former Designing Women actress, Sheryl Lee Ralph, who said: “I never watched Friends because they could not possibly find a way to add anybody of color.”

The show was based on actual life experiences of the it’s co-creators, Marta Kauffman and David Crane. And while Kauffman has already apologized for the show’s diversity issue in the past, she gave further explanation as to how it came to be on Sunday.

“It was to a certain extent a product of the time period, and of my own ignorance,” Kauffman said. “There were black shows and there were white shows. There weren’t a lot of shows that were interracial. I guess at the time I was thinking, ‘This is what I know. This is what I know,’” Kauffman said.