YouTube | Favorite Videos

David Schwimmer Reveals He 'Campaigned For Years To Have Ross Date Women Of Color'

Elizabeth Spina 29 Jan 2020

In a recent interview with The Guardian, David Schwimmer reveals just how far he's come since Friends, and that he "campaigned for years to have Ross date women of color" on the show.

In David Schwimmer's latest interview with The Guardian, he opened up about how he campaigned to his superiors on the set of "Friends", to have Ross date women of color.

YouTube | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

He also explained just how much being one of the major faces of Friends influenced the rest of his career.

Load Comments

He began by airing out some of his past frustrations about how bittersweet it has been to be known for his role on "Friends".

Although being apart of something so iconic was monumental for him, it also created a roadblock for him trying to diversify his career and take on roles outside of comedy.

Load Comments

“I think I’m kind of over that,” he said of his character, Ross.

YouTube | TODAY

“There was a period that I was very, very frustrated by being pigeonholed in this one genre, this one idea."

Load Comments

"I got "Friends" when I was 27 but I had done all this work on stage. But all that was just eradicated."

"As far as the public was concerned, I came out of the womb doing sitcom."

Load Comments

"So that was frustrating, as if it obliterated all the other training, all the other roles I had done.”

YouTube | VHSfx

But over time, David began to feel less frustrated and more grateful for his time on the show.

Load Comments

“The older I get and the more my perspective shifts,” he said.

“The more you realize just how good you had it. That 10-year run with that particular cast, that group of writers, those directors. It was an amazing time professionally, but mostly creatively.”

Load Comments

Still, to this day, he remains in close contact with his former cast mates.

“We all had a little reunion dinner at Courteney’s [Cox] house recently," he revealed.

Load Comments

"Everyone drifts and everyone has families and gets on with it so there are different relationships among the cast," he went on.

YouTube | TOPVIDZ

"But I’m probably closest to [Matt] LeBlanc on a regular basis. I’m the only one that lives in New York.”

Load Comments

As you probably are well-aware of, "Friends" has had an insanely successful afterlife.

Giphy | Friends

Fans who watched it while it was still on TV are now re-watching it on Netflix, and new generations are also tuning in.

"Friends is nostalgic because it was a time right before the world profoundly changed in terms of social media and where our focus was," he went on.

Load Comments

"It was six people who actually sat and talked to each other.”

YouTube | Favorite Videos

However, certain storylines in Friends haven't exactly aged well according to the younger generations, who have raised questions about some of the sexist, homophobic, transphobic themes as well as fat-shaming.

Load Comments

But David stands by "Friends", explaining that for its time, there was nothing wrong with it.

Giphy | Friends

“I don’t care,” he said. “The truth is also that show was groundbreaking in its time for the way in which it handled so casually sex, protected sex, gay marriage and relationships."

Load Comments

The pilot of the show was my character’s wife left him for a woman and there was a gay wedding, of my ex and her wife, that I attended."

YouTube | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

“I feel that a lot of the problem today in so many areas is that so little is taken in context. You have to look at it from the point of view of what the show was trying to do at the time."

Load Comments

"I’m the first person to say that maybe something was inappropriate or insensitive, but I feel like my barometer was pretty good at that time. I was already really attuned to social issues and issues of equality.”

YouTube | Favorite Videos

“Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends,” he continued.

Load Comments

“But I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of color."

YouTube | Favorite Videos

"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."

Load Comments

“It’s interesting also how the show handled the Judaism of the characters,” he continued. “I don’t think that was earth-shattering or groundbreaking at all, but I for one was glad that we had at least one episode where it wasn’t just about Christmas."

Giphy

"It was also Hanukkah and, even though I played the Hanukkah armadillo I was glad that we at least acknowledged the differences in religious observation.”

Load Comments
Next Article