Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Sherri Shepherd Wasn’t Invited Back to ‘Friends’ After She Called For More Diversity

sherri shepherd

*When Sherri Shepherd hit up the co-creator of “Friends” to address the show’s lack of diversity, it allegedly marked her last appearance on the NBC comedy series. 

“Sherri was one of the few black faces that was on ‘Friends.’ Her, Aisha Tyler and Gabrielle Union. And Sherri was on ‘Friends’ at a time that you sent out postcards to let people know, ‘Hey, I’m going to be on TV,’ ” Shepherd’s bestie, media personality Jawn Murray, recalled to ABC News’ Linsey Davis, Page Six reports. 

Apparently, Shepherd shared her opinion about the show on a postcard that included a photo of herself: “ ‘Friends’ get a little color.”

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friends

Murray added, “Well, [Shepherd] also sent that postcard to [‘Friends’ co-creator] Marta [Kauffman], and she got the postcard and [Shepherd] was never asked back on the show.”

Aisha Tyler is the only person of color to appear in more than three episodes in the series’ 10-season run. The comedian/actress appeared in nine episodes while actor Phill Lewis was featured in three. 

Meanwhile, Kauffman recently admitted to not doing enough to champion diversity on the show. 

“I wish I knew then what I knew today, I would have made very different decisions,” Kauffman said during the 2020 ATX TV From the Couch virtual panel. “I mean we’ve always encouraged people of diversity in our company, but I didn’t do enough and now all I can think about is, what can I do?,” she added. 

Continuing, “What can I do differently? How can I run my show in a new way? And that’s something I not only wish I knew when I started showrunning, but I wish I knew all the way up through last year.”

Meanwhile, Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe on “Friends,” recently said that if the series were given the reboot treatment, it “would not be an all-white cast, for sure.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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