Jennifer Aniston Acknowledges Some ‘Friends’ Episodes Are Indeed Offensive: ‘We Should Have Thought It Through’

“I don’t think there was a sensitivity like there is now,” the actress said

Jennifer Aniston (Getty Images), "Friends" cast (NBC)
Jennifer Aniston (Getty Images), "Friends" cast (NBC)

Jennifer Aniston says the playing field for comedy these days is “tricky,” reflecting on how generations of today see many episodes of “Friends” as “offensive.”

The world is changing, and more people are becoming aware of how some content in television and film may do more harm than good in the world, regardless if its intent is to entertain the masses. It’s a perspective Aniston related to to her 1994 hit sitcom “Friends” in which she starred as Rachel Green. 

“Comedy has evolved, movies have evolved,” Aniston said during an interview with AFP Paris while chatting about her upcoming film “Murder Mystery 2” with Adam Sandler. “Now it’s a little tricky because you have to be very careful, which makes it really hard for comedians. Because the beauty of comedy is that we make fun of ourselves, make fun of life.”

From the cast’s lack of diversity to Monica’s weight being mocked to Joe’s objectification of women to Chandler’s transgender father being mislabeled and insulted, “Friends” has some people calling it racist, sexist and anti-LGBTQIA+ these days. Last year, series co-creator Marta Kauffman acknowledged misgendering Chandler’s dad, as played by Kathleen Turner, was a mistake.

Aniston highlights that some of the generations today find the series to be “offensive.”

“There’s a whole generation of people, kids, who are now going back to episodes of ‘Friends’ and find them offensive,” Aniston said. ”There were things that were never intentional and others… well, we should have thought it through, but I don’t think there was a sensitivity like there is now.”

The actress went on to say that the current level of “sensitivity” may be why there’s a limited number of comedians. 

“Everybody needs funny! The world needs humor!” Aniston explained. “We can’t take ourselves too seriously. Especially in the United States. Everyone is far too divided.”

For 10 seasons until its 2004 finale, “Friends” reigned as a Thursday night “Must See TV” staple, earning six Primetime Emmys and 62 nominations. The main cast included Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc.