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The Friends Detail That Aged So Poorly That The Co-Creator Had To Apologize

The eight-season story of "Friends" has captivated enough people to earn it a reputation as one of the funniest shows in TV history. What's more, the show's clever combination of laugh-a-minute quips, physical comedy and complex relationship drama makes it an enduring and extremely rewatchable sitcom. However, the show is not without its problems. From fat-shaming to abusive behavior and the many times Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) goes too far, a modern viewer has to force themselves to ignore many questionable things in "Friends." 

Much like the viewers, the creators of "Friends" appear to be aware that certain aspects of the show haven't exactly aged well. Now, one of the people behind the classic sitcom has recognized a particularly problematic detail in the show, and expressed regret about the way things were handled. Let's take a look at the "Friends" detail that aged so poorly that co-creator Marta Kauffman had to apologize.

Kauffman regrets the way Chandler's transgender parent was represented

Marta Kauffman isn't particularly happy with the way the show treats Chandler's (Matthew Perry) transgender parent. In an interview with the BBC World Service show "The Conversation" (via The Huffington Post), Kaufman was quite clear that Chandler's parent Helena, a transgender woman, got a pretty raw deal in the sitcom. ""We kept referring to her as 'Chandler's father', even though Chandler's father was trans," Kaufman said. "Pronouns were not yet something that I understood. So we didn't refer to that character as 'she'. That was a mistake." 

The mistake Kauffman refers to extends to the very title of one of the two episodes Helena appears in, "The One With Chandler's Father." There's also the fact that the character is played by Kathleen Turner, who already expressed some years ago that she would now pass on the role, which should go to a transgender actor.

In the interview, Kauffman also owned up to other criticisms, such as representation issues in the show's casting. "If I knew then what I know now, there are certain things I would have changed," she said. "But I didn't know them and I have since learned."

While the co-creator is clearly acutely aware about the mistakes "Friends" made, it seems that she seems quite adamant about not repeating them.