Gabrielle Union to Host All-Black ‘Friends’ Cast Reading

by Shine My Crown Staff
Voiced by Amazon Polly

Gabrielle Union will host a live table read of an episode of the popular 90’s sitcom, Friends — with an all-Black cast.

The reading will feature Uzo Aduba, Ryan Bathe, Aisha Hinds, Sterling K. Brown, Kendrick Sampson and Jeremy Pope, who will reenact the classic episode “The One Where No One’s Ready.”

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Aduba will play Phoebe, Bathe will play Rachel, Hinds will portray Monica, Brown will appear as Ross, Sampson will take on Joey, and Pope will be appearing as Chandler.

The virtual event is part of Tracee Ellis Ross’ Zoom Where It Happens series. The series kicked off at the beginning of the month for the Golden Girls reenactment.

The series runs until Election Day and “aims to encourage fans to vote and fight electoral injustice through popular culture. When We Vote is the highlighted organization for Tuesday night’s table read.

The entire cast of Friends remained all-white from its premiere episode in 1994 until it wrapped up in 2004.

Earlier this year, co-creator Marta Kauffman acknowledged the sitcom’s lack of diversity during the virtual 2020 ATX TV festival.

“I wish I knew then what I know today,” Kauffman said. “Sorry, I just wish I knew then what I know now. I would’ve made very different decisions.”

“I mean we’ve always encouraged people of diversity in our company, but I didn’t do enough and now all I can think about is what can I do?” she continued. “What can I do differently? How can I run my show in a new way? And that’s something I not only wish I knew when I started showrunning, but I wish I knew all the way up through last year.”

Three years ago, Jay-Z took the matter into his own hands and replaced the original cast with all-Black actors for his “Moonlight,” which reenacted the same episode.

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