Writers of the decade-long hit sitcom Friends tried out a storyline which had Matthew Perry’s character sneaking into a gay bar — because he liked the tuna melts it served.
Writer Saul Austerlitz writes about what happened in his book, Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show that Defined a Television Era, the Independent reports.
Wrote Austerlitz: “Perry said no, and the story was shelved.”
The Independent notes that the show has often been criticized for its homophobic and sexist jokes and storylines.
Actress Kathleen Turner, who played Chandler Bing’s trans parent on the show, told Gay Times in 2018 that she thought the show hadn’t aged well for LGBTQ people.
Said Turner: “How they approached with me with it, was ‘would you like to be the first woman playing a man playing a woman?’ I said yes, because there weren’t many drag/trans people on television at the time.”
Gay Times added: ‘During Friends’ run, the character was never actually acknowledged as trans, and was referred to as either gay or a drag queen. She was often mocked by the other characters – especially for her drag show, which was titled Viva Las Gaygas. “Yeah, people thought Charles was just dressing up,” Kathleen added.’
But the evidence is also there in plenty of other places. Here’s a lengthy clip of some of it by video editor Tijana Mamula :