‘Friends: The Reunion’ Under Fire for Lack of Black Celebrity Guests

385848 15: Cast Members Of NBC's Comedy Series "Friends." Pictured (L To R): David Schwimmer As Ross Geller, Jennifer Aniston As Rachel Cook, Courteney Cox As Monica Geller, Matthew Perry As Chandler Bing, Lisa Kudrow As Phoebe Buffay And Matt Leblanc As Joey Tribbiani. (Photo By Getty Images)
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Showrunners for Friends: The Reunion are facing backlash for failing to include any black celebrity guest stars in the HBO Max special, airing May 27.

In addition to the series main cast members, Friends: The Reunion will also feature guest appearances by Lady Gaga, David Beckham, Justin Bieber, Cindy Crawford, Tom Selleck, Reese Witherspoon, and more, according to a report by Entertainment Weekly.

Other celebrity guests include the Korean boy band BTS, James Corden, Cara Delevingne, Elliott Gould, Kit Harington, Larry Hankin, Mindy Kaling, Thomas Lennon, Christina Pickles, James Michael Tyler, Maggie Wheeler, and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai — none of whom are black.

The special’s producers are facing backlash from fans after failing to cast any black celebrity guest stars.

“[I]t’s been 17 years & y’all still haven’t made any black friends? Lol smh,” one Twitter user wrote.

“Just caught a look at the guests for the #FRIENDSREUNION and not a single black person,” the Twitter user added. “I knew all that talk about diversity was lip service.”

“Wonder if any black people have dared venture to the notoriously white NYC since we last caught up with the gang,” another commented.

“Friends reunion! So many new friends! None of ’em Black!” another commenter said.

“After convincing us that NYC has no Black or Brown people in it for 9 seasons, they issue a reunion with 25 celebs and somehow evade finding a single Black person,” another wrote.

“Do y’all need a brown person for diversity purposes??? @FriendsTV @hbomax I’m available,” another said.

Last year, Friends was revived with an all-black cast for a Get Out the Vote Zoom series. The cast included actors Ryan Michelle Bathe, Sterling K. Brown, Uzo Aduba, Aisha Hinds, Jeremy Pope, and Kendrick Sampson.

The show was featured on Zoom Where It Happens, a weekly live table read series aimed at getting out the vote ahead of the November 2020 presidential election.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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