'Friends' creator donates $4 million to atone for her non-woke series

Marta Kauffman attributed her lack of Black leads to 'internalization of the systemic racism that plagues our society.'

Brandeis University, Kauffman's alma mater, told Campus Reform that Kauffman’s actions were a 'transformative moment in Brandeis’ history.'

Marta Kauffman, creator of the popular 1990s sitcom Friends, has donated $4 million to her alma mater, Brandeis University, to establish an endowed professorship in the university’s Department of African and African American Studies.

The endowment, which will “support a distinguished scholar with a concentration in the study of the peoples and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora”, was given by Kauffman, who has publicly expressed guilt for only casting White actors in the sitcom's lead roles. 

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According to the Los Angeles Times, Kauffman attributed her lack of black leads to her "internalization of the systemic racism that plagues our society.” 

Brandeis University’s announcement of the endowment states that Kauffman was “deeply affected” by the murder of George Floyd in 2020, and the protests that followed.

Friends takes place in New York City and follows the lives of six characters. 

The show has, however, featured co-stars of color such as Aisha Tyler, and one of the lead characters, Chandler Bing, has a transgender father.

Kauffman has also recently expressed regret for referring to Chandler’s father with the wrong pronouns. 

In 2021, HBO Max released a Friends: The Reunion documentary. 

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The Los Angeles Times was quick to criticize the special, stating, “At a time when the television landscape is becoming increasingly diverse and inclusive, it’s uncomfortable – if not outright inappropriate – to raise a glass to a sitcom that was so blind to the multiculturalism of the world where it took place.”

Brandeis University told Campus Reform that Kauffman’s actions were a “transformative moment in Brandeis’ history.”

Campus Reform reached out to Brandeis University and Marta Kauffman for comment. Thus article will be updated accordingly.