Aniston: Comedians Now Not 'Allowed' to Do Certain Things

Actress reflects on the decades-later accusations that 'Friends' is offensive
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2023 2:30 AM CDT
Jennifer Aniston on the Changes in Comedy: There's More 'Sensitivity' Now
Jennifer Aniston arrives at the premiere of "Murder Mystery 2" on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at the Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Jennifer Aniston admits there's some truth to the criticisms of Friends decades after the sitcom was made: "There were things that were never intentional and others ... Well, we should have thought it through," the actress tells AFP in an interview cited by Deadline. "But I don’t think there was a sensitivity like there is now." She says that in years past, audiences considered different things funny, but comedy has since "evolved." That makes it "a little tricky," she said, "because you have to be very careful, which makes it really hard for comedians, because the beauty of comedy is that we make fun of ourselves, make fun of life."

As an example, she said that when Friends was on the air, "you could joke about a bigot and have a laugh—that was hysterical. And it was about educating people on how ridiculous people were. And now we’re not allowed to do that." She said she hopes more comedies continue to be made, even though there's now "a whole generation of people, kids, who are now going back to episodes of Friends and find them offensive." Because, she explained per E!, "Everybody needs funny! The world needs humor! We can't take ourselves too seriously. Especially in the United States. Everyone is far too divided." Sample reaction on Twitter: "I swear to you that not three days (ago) I had a whole conversation with myself about how boring Jennifer Aniston is. She even chooses the most boring way to be controversial." (More Jennifer Aniston stories.)

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