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Jennifer Aniston Sparks Debate After Lamenting That 'Friends' Is Now 'Offensive' To Gen Z

Aniston's defense of the popular '90s sitcom's humor sparked immediate debate on social media.

Jennifer Aniston
Amy Sussman/FilmMagic/Getty Images

While making a red carpet appearance for her new flick with Adam Sandler, Murder Mystery 2, Jennifer Aniston opened up to AFP about her '90s sitcom Friends and the way younger audience perceive its humor.

Let's be honest, the jokes didn't all age well.

But Aniston explained her stance on the matter:

"There's a whole generation of people, kids, who are now going back to episodes of 'Friends' and find them offensive."
"There were things that were never intentional and others... well, we should have thought it through."

She continued:

"But I don't think there was a sensitivity like there is now."

Aniston expressed the difficulty for comedians to portray to the audience the intention is exposing a bigot rather than laughing at his or her jokes.

"Now it's a little tricky 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."
"[In the past] you could make a joke about a bigot and laugh."

Last year, The Office writer and actor Mindy Kaling expressed similar thoughts, stating that the idea was to showcase and call out ignorance, but the humor instead was usually found in what was said or done by that person. She also claimed, "what offends people has changed so much."

Aniston explained:

"That was hysterical. And it was about educating people on how ridiculous people were. And now we're not allowed to do that."

She finished:

"Everybody needs funny! The world needs humor!"
"We can't take ourselves too seriously. Especially in the United States. Everyone is far too divided."

People took to social media to share their thoughts on the matter.

Some thought Aniston was trying to appear "edgy" by expressing the show contained some currently-forbidden content.

But mostly, people agreed with Aniston that many of the punchlines were, in fact, in poor taste, typically sexist and often at the expense of others' physical appearance.

To Aniston's point, the show has come under criticism many times before. Friends creator Marta Kauffman even responded to the lack of diversity in the show as well as the casting of cisgender actor Kathleen Turner to play Chandler's trans "father."

Kauffman revealed:

“I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years."
"Admitting and accepting guilt is not easy."
"It’s painful looking at yourself in the mirror."
"I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know better 25 years ago."