Last Updated on July 18, 2022
Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman recently donated $4 million to social justice causes as an apology for the show’s lack of diversity. Leftists have long criticized the 90’s show for featuring too many White people, something Kauffman is eager to atone for.
Kauffman, 65, initially had mixed feelings about the “difficult and frustrating” criticisms of her show. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Kauffman wondered if her show was being singled out.
But nearly two decades after the show’s run, the Friends co-creator is seeking forgiveness for casting White people
“I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years,” Kauffman said, according to The New York Post. “Admitting and accepting guilt is not easy. It’s painful looking at yourself in the mirror. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know better 25 years ago,” she continued.
Kauffman began to feel bad about her casting decisions during the George Floyd riots of 2020. “I knew then I needed to course-correct,” she explained.
In an attempt to gain forgiveness, she pledged $4 million to her alma mater, Brandeis University, to fund an endowed chair in the school’s African and African American studies department.
The Marta F. Kauffman ’78 Professorship in African and African American Studies “will support a distinguished scholar with a concentration in the study of the peoples and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora” and “assist the department to recruit more expert scholars and teachers, map long-term academic and research priorities and provide new opportunities for students to engage in interdisciplinary scholarship,” the Massachusetts-based university announced in a statement.
“It took me a long time to begin to understand how I internalized systemic racism,” Kauffman told the university. “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.”
Kauffman told the Los Angeles Times that she has received “nothing but love” since announcing the $4 million pledge along with “people acknowledging it was long overdue.”