Jennifer Aniston thinks comedy is harder than ever, thanks to Gen Z. The “Friends” star believes the evolution of humor has made comedy impossible to navigate for writers and comedians. This opinion comes from younger generations watching old episodes of “FRIENDS” and finding it more offensive than funny. She goes on to lament that audiences are too sensitive now.
“Comedy has evolved, movies have evolved,” Aniston said. “[In the past] you could joke about a bigot and have a laugh — that was hysterical. It was about educating people on how ridiculous people were. And now we’re not allowed to do that.”
“FRIENDS” is still incredibly popular. It’s used for reactions and memes on the internet, and still quoted often. This popularity continues, even with Gen Z. So her statement might be a tad unfounded.
Offensive Jokes Recognized As Such
There are still popular shows from the late 80s and early 90s enjoyed by current generations. The difference being jokes about race, gender, sex, and the like are often cringe-inducing. Maybe Aniston’s point isn’t exactly worded the right way. What Gen Z actually finds more offensive is the racial insensitivity that “FRIENDS” is plagued with. The show is chided for its lack of diversity and it’s preachiness about the experiences of people of color without employing any POC writers or cast.
Show creator Marta Kauffman admits to having been a proponent of systemic racism, admitting her ignorance. For a long time, Kauffman defended the series and its all-white cast. Trying to mend some long-time beliefs, Kauffman donated $4 million to her alma mater’s African-American studies dept. “FRIENDS” co-star Lisa Kudrow thinks the problem with the series was a lack of apprenticeship, which could have possibly brought in more diverse voices. That an all-white writing staff had “no business writing stories about the experiences of being a person of color.”
So maybe Aniston needs to chill a little bit. If the show’s creator and a member of cast can acknowledge the show’s shortcomings, so can she.