News, Culture & Society

Sherri Shepherd ‘pointed out lack of diversity on Friends’

Sherri Shepherd, 53, believes that she lost out on a future jobs on Friends after she casually pointed out they show’s lack of racial diversity to one of the co-creators.

Jawn Murray, a pop culture commentator and best friend of the former host of The View, told Sherri’s story about being on of the few black characters on Friends during a discussion with ABC News on Monday night.  

Back in January of 1998, Shepherd guest starred as a tour guide at Ross’s museum in an episode of the NBC sitcom titled The One With Phoebe’s Uterus.

Race and pop culture: Sherri Shepherd, 53, believes that she lost out on a future jobs on Friends after she casually pointed out they show’s lack of racial diversity to one of the co-creators, according to her friend Jawn Murray 

The season four episode features Shepherd in a few scenes with Matt LeBlanc and her line to LeBlanc’s character Joey, ‘I shared my pudding with you, man!’, is one that gets quoted even to this day. 

Murray was on ABC News to discuss race and pop culture and recalled Sherri’s experience with Friends – adding that the TV host had given him permission to tell her story.

‘[Sherri] was one of the few black faces that was on Friends,’ Jawn said during the interview. ‘Her, Aisha Tyler and Gabrielle Union.’

‘Sherri was on Friends at a time that you sent out postcards to let people know, ‘Hey, I’m going to be on TV,” he explained.

Iconic: Back in January of 1998, Shepherd guest starred as a tour guide at Ross's museum in an episode of the NBC sitcom titled The One With Phoebe's Uterus

Iconic: Back in January of 1998, Shepherd guest starred as a tour guide at Ross’s museum in an episode of the NBC sitcom titled The One With Phoebe’s Uterus

'[Sherri] was one of the few black faces that was on Friends,' Jawn Murray said during the interview. 'Her, Aisha Tyler and Gabrielle Union. Sherri was on Friends at a time that you sent out postcards to let people know, 'Hey, I'm going to be on TV'

The conversation: Murray was on ABC News to discuss race and pop culture and recalled Sherri's experience with Friends - adding that the TV host had given him permission to tell her story

‘[Sherri] was one of the few black faces that was on Friends,’ Jawn Murray said during the interview. ‘Her, Aisha Tyler and Gabrielle Union. Sherri was on Friends at a time that you sent out postcards to let people know, ‘Hey, I’m going to be on TV’

On her postcard, which was sent to many people including the co-creator of the series Marta Kauffman, Sherri penned ''Friends get a little color'  - 'she was never asked back on the show'

On her postcard, which was sent to many people including the co-creator of the series Marta Kauffman, Sherri penned ”Friends get a little color’  – ‘she was never asked back on the show’

On her postcard, which was sent to many people including the co-creator of the series Marta Kauffman, Sherri penned ”Friends get a little color.’

‘Well, [Shepherd] also sent that postcard to Marta,’ Jawn recounted. ‘And she got the postcard and she was never asked back on the show.’ 

Following the interview, Sherri took to social media to promote the segment: ‘My best friend @JawnMurray appeared on @ABCNewsLive with @LinseyDavis & shared my experience as one of the few Black people who ever appeared on ‘Friends.’ He reveals why I believe I was NEVER asked back to the show.’

Last month Marta Kauffman admitted that she hadn’t done enough regarding diversity in the past.

Critics: Friends has been criticized over the years for a lack of diversity on the show and co-creator Marta Kauffman admitted last month during a digital panel that she wishes she 'knew then what I know now' (Actress Gabrielle Union pictured on Friends)

Critics: Friends has been criticized over the years for a lack of diversity on the show and co-creator Marta Kauffman admitted last month during a digital panel that she wishes she ‘knew then what I know now’ (Actress Gabrielle Union pictured on Friends)

Friends has been criticized over the years for not only having an all white cast but also seeming to borrow it’s concept from Living Single – a show about six black friends living in New York – which aired shortly before the NBC sitcom.

During an ATX TV…from the Couch digital panel Kauffman actually teared up when she spoke about the choices she made in the past.

‘I wish I knew then what I know today,’ the TV exec said. ‘Sorry, I just wish I knew then what I know now. I would’ve made very different decisions.’ 

‘I mean we’ve always encouraged people of diversity in our company, but I didn’t do enough and now all I can think about is what can I do? What can I do differently? How can I run my show in a new way? And that’s something I not only wish I knew when I started showrunning, but I wish I knew all the way up through last year.’ 

'I mean we've always encouraged people of diversity in our company,' Kauffman said . 'But I didn't do enough and now all I can think about is what can I do? What can I do differently? How can I run my show in a new way? And that's something I not only wish I knew when I started showrunning, but I wish I knew all the way up through last year.'

‘I mean we’ve always encouraged people of diversity in our company,’ Kauffman said . ‘But I didn’t do enough and now all I can think about is what can I do? What can I do differently? How can I run my show in a new way? And that’s something I not only wish I knew when I started showrunning, but I wish I knew all the way up through last year.’

Sherri Shepherd herself spoke about her gig on Friends last year during an interview with Yahoo Entertainment and revealed that people still ask her to say her ‘pudding’ line when they see her out.

‘There weren’t many black people on Friends,’ she said in the interview. ‘I remember I was doing my scenes and the security guard was like, “Girl!”‘  

She added during her chat last year that if she were asked, she would love to reprise her role as Rhonda in a future reunion or reboot.

Sherri quipped: ‘I would petition! I would lay outside the doggone studio.’

Looking back: Sherri, who went on to co-host The View, recalled her own experience being one of the few black actors on the series during an interview with Yahoo Entertainment (Pictured on The View with Barbara Walters in 2013)

Looking back: Sherri, who went on to co-host The View, recalled her own experience being one of the few black actors on the series during an interview with Yahoo Entertainment (Pictured on The View with Barbara Walters in 2013)

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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