'Friends' star David Schwimmer defends show from backlash as he insists 'it was a different time'

Amy West
·2-min read
David Schwimmer in the press room at the Virgin Media BAFTA TV awards, held at the Royal Festival Hall in London. (Photo by Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images)
David Schwimmer has defended 'Friends' from recent criticisms. (Photo by Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images)

Friends star David Schwimmer has defended the show from recent backlash, suggesting people remember that it was both filmed and set in a “different time.”

While it may have aired its final episode more than 15 years ago now, the well-known 90s sitcom has come under scrutiny in recent months as viewers who are revisiting - or even watching for the first time - have noticed some awkward jokes about sexuality, race and gender.

Read more: Jennifer Aniston welcomes Matthew Perry to Instagram with classic 'Friends' reference

“There was an innocence about it, before social media," Schwimmer told The Telegraph. "Just watching six people actually sit down and talk to one another on a couch, rather than be buried in their devices – it was a different time."

FRIENDS -- Pictured: (l-r) Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matthew Perry. as Chandler Bing, Courteney Cox Arquette as Monica Geller, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green  (Photo by NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
'Friends' worked well because it was set 'before social media,' says star David Schwimmer (Photo by NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

The 53-year-old went on to say that society has “profoundly changed” now and he struggles to embrace the idea that individuals can post whatever they want about anything they want on the internet at any given time.

"Everyone self‑publishes their own PEOPLE magazine on a daily basis,” he noted. “It’s a daily, or an hourly, act of vanity, and that’s what I find hard to participate in.”

Read more: 'Friends' reunion special in limbo as HBO Max boss reveals negotiation woes

Not so long ago, Schwimmer appeared to shoot down the idea that he and co-stars Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston are gearing up to film a one-off Friends reunion special with HBO at some point in the near future.

“I just don’t think it’s possible, given everyone’s different career trajectories,” he told The Guardian. “I think everyone feels the same – why mess with what felt like the right way to end the series?

“I don’t want to do anything for the money. It would have to make sense creatively and nothing I’ve heard so far, presented to us, makes sense.”