‘Friends’ Gets Revived With An All-Black Cast At Table Read
By Mikelle Leow, 23 Sep 2020
Images via IMDb and DFree / Shutterstock.com
Fast forward 26 years later, and the lack of diversity in nearly all-white sitcom Friends is glaringly obvious. The show’s creators have since regretted this shortcoming and have expressed their wish to do things differently if they could.
Back then, they didn’t know what we knew what they didn’t know, but what if they did know?
On Tuesday, fans finally got a glimpse at The One That Could Have Been as eight talented Black celebrities gathered for a table read organized by Zoom and Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote nonprofit.
The session was hosted by Gabrielle Union, who cameoed in an episode from the series, and was joined by British singer and actress Cynthia Erivo, who performed a powerful rendition of the show’s theme song, I’ll Be There For You.
The cast reenacted moments from The One Where No One’s Ready, where Ross’ prompts to get prepared for an important black-tie event were unheeded by his uncooperative circle.
Ross and Rachel were played by real-life married couple Sterling K Brown (from This Is Us) and Ryan Michelle Bathe (First Wives Bathe). Uzo Aduba of Orange is the New Black fame reprised the role of Phoebe, 9-1-1’s Aisha Hinds played Monica, Hollywood’s Jeremy Pope brought out his inner Chandler and How to Get Away with Murder’s Kendrick Sampson took on the role of Joey. The scene was produced by Stephanie Allain and directed by Salli Richardson-Whitfield.
The actors also took liberties with the original script and threw in some improvisations relatable for a Black audience. For instance, Brown—who played a frustrated Ross—threw in the line, “Oh great, it’s starting to rain. That’ll make it easy for a Black man to get a cab.”
The session made up the second episode of a brand new table read series called Zoom Where It Happens, which aims to promote “voting rights and electoral justice through culture and entertainment.”
Enjoy some highlights from the heartwarming event below.
Video via CNN Entertainment
What’s your #VotingPlan ✊🏾 I love Us. I love #BlackPeople ✊🏾🤎👏🏾🙏🏾 #Friends with @SterlingKBrown @ryanmichelle @UzoAduba @AishaHinds @kendrick38 @jrmypope. #CynthiaErivo • @StephanieAllain Producing @itsgabrielleu Hosting @sallirichardson Directing #ZoomWhereItHappens pic.twitter.com/dJf8chPoZ7— Mickaëlle X. Bizet (@MickaelleXBizet) September 23, 2020
[via NME, cover image via IMDb and DFree / Shutterstock.com]
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