Gabrielle Union presents all-black 'F.R.I.E.N.D.S' table read for US poll
If you like F.R.I.E.N.D.S, but are critical of the all-white cast of this '90s smash-hit sitcom, now is the time for you to enjoy it all over again. Gabrielle Union-Wade recently brought in a deck of all-Black artistes who participated in a table read of one of the most comical episodes of this famous show, which lasted for a stunning 10 seasons.
The show had an all-Black makeover for Zoom Where it Happens, which is a partnership service between video-conferencing brand Zoom and Black female artists "to raise awareness, intention and activation around voting rights," according to a statement by Zoom. The initiative, connected to Michelle Obama's 'When We All Vote', is re-imagining popular series in order to attract young voters for US elections.
Salli Richardson-Whitfield directed this virtual table read, while Emmy nominee Stephanie Allain produced the same. Viewers had to register with their mobile numbers and accept news notifications from social impact organizations to watch this performance. The episode The One Where No One's Ready was reimagined for the socially inclusive audience, who think the lead cast of F.R.I.E.N.D.S should have had actors of color.
The table read had Sterling K. Brown, Uzo Aduba, Ryan Bathe, Aisha Hinds, Kendrick Sampson and Jeremy Pope, who got into the respective characters of Ross, Phoebe, Rachel, Monica, Chandler and Joey. "We've selected popular four-quadrant shows. We're thrilled to see how many people have embraced the series and are actively motivated to get out the vote this November," mentioned Bathe regarding this remake.
The sitcom has been termed transphobic and sexist ever since Netflix started streaming it. However, Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer have defended the series. Refuting the all-white cast for a remake now, Kudrow said the show explored surrogacy, struggle between heterosexuality and homosexuality back then. Adding to that, Schwimmer cited his Hanukkah armadillo costume and said the show "acknowledged the differences in religious observation."