The shows have been compared since Friends first debuted in 1994, a year after Living Single‘s debut.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, actor David Schwimmer discussed the lack of diversity in the hit TV series Friends.
Schwimmer, who portrayed Ross Geller on Friends, spoke on how he advocated for diversity on the show when it was still being made, saying:
…I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of colour. One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian American woman, and later I dated African American women. That was a very conscious push on my part.
He also proposed that, if Friends were to be rebooted, that it should feature an all-Black or all-Asian cast. In regards to the former suggestion though, it’s hard not to think about how there was a sitcom with an all-Black cast that some believe Friends stole its idea from — Living Single.
The actors from the series have even acknowledged Living Single‘s influence on Friends, with Terence C. Carson telling the Atlantic in 2018: “We’re really friends before Friends was friends.”
Queen Latifah spoke on the comparisons between the two back in 2016 during an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden.
“It was interesting because, when Living Single came out, shortly thereafter, Warren Littlefield, who was at NBC, they asked him if he could have any show on television — any of the news shows — which one would it be?” Latifah said. “And he said Living Single. It was in the newspaper. And then the next thing you know here comes Friends.”
In related news, Latifah previously shared that she was working on a reboot of Living Single.
Source: The Guardian