Kathleen Turner: ‘Friends’ did not age well

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Friends actor Kathleen Turner has pitched into the debate that Friends was problematic in the way it approached LGBTQ issues as Chandler, the son of her character, refused to recognize that the person who had been his father was now a transgender woman named Helena. “It was a 30-minute sitcom. It became a phenomenon, but no one ever took it seriously as a social comment,” she told the Gay Times. While it was never directly addressed that Chandler’s dad was transgender, co-creator Marta Kauffman confirmed it and Turner said it was literally groundbreaking for that period. “How they approached with me with it was, ‘Would you like to be the first woman playing a man playing a woman?’ I said yes, because there weren’t many drag/trans people on television at the time.” she remembers. Turner added that many viewers did not understand whether Helena really was a trans woman or just Charles’ drag alter-ego.

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