During its original run, the hit New-York-based sitcom was often criticised for featuring an entirely-white cast, a debate which has continued to surround it to this day.
After Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman apologised for this absence of diversity, and pledged $4 million to Brandeis University’s African and African American studies department, Lisa was asked for her thoughts during a recent interview with The Daily Beast.
“Well, I feel like it was a show created by two people who went to Brandeis and wrote about their lives after college,” she said.
“And for shows especially, when it’s going to be a comedy that’s character-driven, you write what you know. They have no business writing stories about the experiences of being a person of colour.”
The Phoebe Buffay actor added: “I think at that time, the big problem that I was seeing was, ‘Where’s the apprenticeship?’.”
Asked about the Emmy-winning show back in 2020, Lisa said she thought it would be “completely different” were it made in the present day.
“Well, it would not be an all-white cast, for sure. I’m not sure what else, but, to me, it should be looked at as a time capsule, not for what they did wrong,” she said.
Lisa added: “Also, this show thought it was very progressive. There was a guy whose wife discovered she was gay and pregnant, and they raised the child together? We had surrogacy too. It was, at the time, progressive.
“Yes, it’s a fun comedy. But it’s also about people connecting, and part of what appeals about it now is that young people have this unconscious nostalgia for personal connection. And not just right now during the pandemic, but before that.”