Marta Kauffman


Friends Creator Marta Kauffman Has A Major Regret About Kathleen Turner's Character

"We kept referring to [Chandler's transgender parent] as 'Chandler's father', even though Chandler's father was trans," she told the BBC. "Friends" debuted in 1994 – long before pronouns had entered popular lingo. But now, the almost 30-year-old show is being reconsidered by its creators in light of current discourse. And thankfully, it looks as though they want to do better. It took until the end of "Friends" Season 7 to introduce "Chandler's Dad" — the show's only transgender character. And even then, it wasn't exactly perfect.
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Friends Creator Marta Kauffman Regrets Misgendering Chandler’s Trans Mom

Marta Kauffman is getting her apologies out. The Friends creator previously told the Los Angeles Times that she had donated $4 million to establish an African and African American Studies professorship out of “guilt” over the lack of racial diversity on her hit sitcom. And now, per Variety, Kauffman has also expressed regret over misgendering Chandler Bing’s transgender mom throughout the show. “Pronouns were not yet something that I understood,” she told the BBC in an interview that will reportedly air July 11. “So we didn’t refer to that character as ‘she.’ That was a mistake.” Friends introduced the character in question as Chandler’s father, a gay man, and a drag queen called Helena Handbasket. Often the butt of jokes, she was played by Kathleen Turner. “How they approached with me with it, was, ‘Would you like to be the first woman playing a man playing a woman?’” Turner recalled to the Gay Times in 2018, noting that she didn’t think Friends “aged well” with regard to LGBTQ+ rights. Like Kauffman, Turner would have made different decisions looking back. In 2019, she told Andy Cohen that she would refuse the role if offered it again “because there would be real people able to do it.”

‘Friends’ Cocreator Marta Kauffman Says It Was a ‘Mistake’ to Misgender Chandler’s Trans Parent

Friends cocreator Marta Kauffman expressed remorse over the way the show depicted a trans character days after she said she was embarrassed by the show’s lack of diversity. “We kept referring to [Helena] as ‘Chandler’s father,’ even though Chandler’s father was trans,” the producer, 65, said during an interview with BBC World Service’s The Conversation set to air on Monday, July 11. “Pronouns were not yet something that I understood, so we didn’t refer to that character as ‘she.’ That was a mistake.”

‘Friends’ Co-Creator Marta Kauffman Regrets Show’s Lack Of Diversity, Says She “Bought Into Systemic Racism”

Click here to read the full article. Earlier this month Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman made a generous donation to Brandeis University, her alma mater. She pledged $4 million to establish an endowed professorship in the African and African American Studies Department there. In making the pledge Kauffman said, “It took me a long time to begin to understand how I internalized systemic racism. I’ve been working really hard to become an ally, an anti-racist. And this seemed to me to be a way that I could participate in the conversation from a white woman’s perspective.” Friends, which Kauffman co-created with David Crane,...