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Marta Kauffman (Image source: Twitter)
Marta Kauffman (Image source: Twitter)

'Friends' co-creator Marta Kauffman apologizes for misgendering Matthew Perry's character's parent

ANI | Updated: Jul 07, 2022 20:21 IST

Washington [US], July 7 (ANI): Marta Kauffman, who was a co-creator of 'Friends' has apologized in a recent interview for misgendering character Chandler Bing's transgender mother during the show's 10-year run.
According to Fox News, in an interview with a news outlet, Kauffman said, "Pronouns were not yet something that I understood. So, we didn't refer to that character as 'she.' That was a mistake."
She said she also regrets referring to the elder Bing character as father rather than mother. "We kept referring to her as Chandler's father, even though Chandler's father was trans," she told the outlet.
In early seasons of the syndicated sitcom, references to Charles Bing, who also headlined a drag revue under the name Helena Handbasket, were relegated mainly to one-liner jokes like one from the first season in 1995 when Chandler (Matthew Perry) said: "If I turn into my parents, I'll either be an alcoholic blond chasing after 20-year-old boys, or I'll end up like my mom."
By season seven, however, as Chandler and Monica Geller (Courtney Cox) prepared to get married, the two traveled to Las Vegas to meet his estranged parent at her drag revue and invite her to the wedding.

Kathleen Turner played Chandler's transgender mother while Morgan Fairchild appeared several times as his biological mom.
The show never actually used the word transgender, instead referring to Charles as gay and a drag performer who would also wear women's clothes outside of drag shows.
Kauffman said she recently fired someone for making a joke about a transgender camera person. "That just can't happen," she said.
Kauffman also said she regrets not having enough diversity on the mostly White show, admitting she was "clearly part of systemic racism in our business."
Last week, she pledged to donate USD 4 million to her alma mater, the Boston area's Brandeis University, to establish an endowed professorship in the school's African and African American studies department," as per Fox News. (ANI)