Gabrielle Union to host 'Friends' table read with all-black cast

Amy Johnson
·2 mins read
Gabrielle Union  attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Gabrielle Union attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Friends is getting a refresh as an all-black cast are coming together for a table read of the sitcom, hosted by Gabrielle Union.

Uzo Aduba, Ryan Bathe, Aisha Hinds, Sterling K. Brown, Kendrick Sampson and Jeremy Pope will be reimagining the season three episode The One Where No One's Ready.

Aduba is taking on Phoebe, Bathe is playing Rachel and Hinds will portray Monica. Meanwhile, Brown is featuring as Ross, Sampson will be Joey and Pope is playing Chandler.

Read more: Emmys 2020 sees mini Friends reunion take place

The roles were originally made famous in the hugely popular New York set sitcom by Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry.

Uzo Aduba will play the part of Phoebe in the table read. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
Uzo Aduba will play the part of Phoebe in the table read. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)

The table read will go out live in the US on Tuesday evening as past of the "Zoom Where It Happens" event which sees black women artists host, with the goal of "catalysing voters" and "amplify the fight for voting rights and electoral justice, through culture and entertainment".

It comes as the series has continued to attract comments on its lack of diversity as it reaches new fans through streaming services.

Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman admitted earlier this year that she "didn't do enough" for racial diversity in her shows earlier in her career.

FRIENDS -- Pictured: (l-r) Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt Le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay in 'Friends', circa 1995. (Photo by NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
FRIENDS -- Pictured: (l-r) Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt Le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay in 'Friends', circa 1995. (Photo by NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Ross star David Schwimmer said he pushed for his character to date women of colour.

"One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian American woman, and later I dated African American women. That was a very conscious push on my part," he told The Guardian in January.

Read more: Friends co-creator gives update on delayed reunion special

Aisha Tyler appeared as Ross' girlfriend Charlie Wheeler in nine episodes in 2003 while Lauren Tom starred as Julie for seven episodes in 1995.

He also proposed that the show could be remade with a more diverse cast, stating: "Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends."