Saturday, January 16, 2021

Gabrielle Union to Host ‘Friends’ Table Read with All Black Actors

gabrielle union

*Gabrielle Union is giving “Friends” a reimagining with an all-Black cast.

On Tuesday evening, the actress will host a live table read of an episode of the hit NBC sitcom, that will feature Uzo Aduba, Ryan Bathe, Aisha Hinds, Sterling K. Brown, Kendrick Sampson and Jeremy Pope.

For the reading, Aduba will play Phoebe, Bathe will play Rachel, Hinds will portray Monica, Brown will appear as Ross, Sampson will take on Joey, and Pope will be Chandler.

According to PEOPLE, the actors will re-enact “The One Where No One’s Ready” epsiode from season 3.

“Friends” originally starred Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer.

READ MORE:  Gabrielle Union Has A Powerful Message For Young Girls – STEVE on Watch / LOOK

friends
‘Friends’ cast

Schwimmer previously addressed the lack of diversity on the beloved sitcom. He told the Guardian in January that he pushed for more inclusive casting, even suggesting that his character Ross date women of color. 

“I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of color,” Schwimmer said. “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.” 

Ross dated Aisha Tyler’s character, Charlie Wheeler. 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 Phill Lewis, who played Chandler’s boss, appeared in three. 

Schwimmer caught heat on Twitter after he proposed an all-black version of “Friends.”

Folks were quick to remind him that “Friends” is basically the all-white reboot of the Fox sitcom “Living Single.”

In June, “Friends” co-creator Marta Kauffman acknowledged the sitcom’s lack of diversity diversity during the 2020 ATX TV From the Couch virtual panel this week. 

“I wish I knew then what I knew today, I would have made very different decisions,” Kauffman said. “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? 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 the show, said that if the series were given the reboot treatment it “would not be an all-white cast, for sure.”

To watch Gabrielle Union’s hour-long “Friends” table read, sign up here ahead of the 6 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. ET start time on Tuesday, Sept. 22. 

The virtual event is taking place on National Voter Registration Day.

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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