More than Friends: Subverting NBC’s Friends

Original Print“At first glance, Friends is an innocent, family-friendly sitcom. However, it contains problematic and discriminatory themes, reinforcing hegemonic expectations […] Friends serves as a medium through which white and heterosexual hegemony are reinforced.”
—Lyric Jackson, Nathan Makela, Jamie Baum, and Eliza Mott (Block 5 2016)

“As the women in the photo are wearing lots of makeup wearing and revealing clothing and the men are not, we see that they are shown in ‘postures of sexual submission, servility or display,’ subtly perpetuating the ‘dehumanizing objectification’ of women.”

“While other popular sitcoms have been critiqued for perpetuating racial stereotypes, Friends succeeds in almost completely erasing racial minorities altogether […] Homophobia and transphobia are also apparent throughout the show. Any lifestyle straying from heteronormativity is used as a source for humor, reinforcing gender and sexual stereotypes.”

New Print“With a racially diverse group of individuals that are not just white or black, we eliminate the erasure of people of color and challenge the problematic black-white binary. This also prevents the perpetuation of the white superior as the ideal” (Chidester 157).

“Television has limited its standards to monogamous relationships that thrive on heavy commitment and possessive social interactions. We decided to shift the tone of the trailer to be more relaxed in order to deviate from the hypersexualization of polygamous relationships. In our new show, we extend the conversation beyond such limited perspective and create a much more inclusive environment.”

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