“Friends” is 25 Years Old, But It Hasn’t Aged Well

Alex Steinhauer, Reporter

The 90s’ sitcom “Friends” just hit its 25th anniversary. A lot has changed since its premiere, and it’s hard to ignore that many of the show’s themes are offensive.

While the sitcom has stayed popular, the themes no longer reflect the sensitivities of its viewers.

One issue is the lack of diversity. All six main characters and almost everyone they meet are white.

This is ironic considering that the show is set in New York City.

According to the U.S. Census, 67% of New York City’s residents identify as “people of color.”

“Although ‘Friends’ is fairly popular today, it hasn’t aged well in this diverse world we have,” junior Sarah Gonzalez said.

The show pushes too many gender stereotypes. For example, the female characters are constantly looking for men to date and marry.

Additionally, in season one, Rachel’s boyfriend Paulo goes to Phoebe — a professional masseuse — for a massage, during which he grabs her butt and exposes his genitals to her. Phoebe could have pressed charges for sexual assault, but in the show she is more worried about Rachel’s reaction.

According to Screen Rant, when Rachel hires a perfectly qualified nanny, Ross fires him because he is a man. Ross also gets upset when his son wants to play with a Barbie instead of G.I. Joe.

The sexism and gender stereotypes of “Friends” would not be appropriate in TV shows today.

The show has even been accused of being homophobic and transphobic. For example, when Ross’ ex-wife gets re-married to another woman they never show them kiss, even at their wedding.

In season seven, we find out that Chandler’s dad is a transgender drag queen.

“The problem here is that this character in the show was a constant subject of jokes and laughter, and never taken seriously as a completely normal and functioning human that deserves respect,” according to Screen Rant.

There is also body shaming when Monica is constantly made fun of for being formerly overweight. In today’s society, obesity, bullying and eating disorders are very serious issues.

“It doesn’t exactly fit the times we have today where we embrace diversity,” Gonzalez  said.