Matthew Perry reportedly refused to do a Friends scene involving a gay bar

E364703 03: Courteney Cox Arquette and Matthew Perry star in Friends during the Year 6. (Courtesy of Warner Bros.)
E364703 03: Courteney Cox Arquette and Matthew Perry star in Friends during the Year 6. (Courtesy of Warner Bros.) /

Here’s the scoop, Friends fans!

If you haven’t heard, a book that came out in 2019 called Generation Friends: An Inside Look At The Show That Defined a Television Era spilled the beans on some very revealing behind-the-scenes factoids about the long-running show. Apparently, it even shed light on some key changes to the script as well. So listen up.

While some of the reveals proved to be what we might expect from the creators behind the beloved show, a few parts are pretty surprising. And some tidbits are notably unsettling. According to the Daily Mail, the book claims that Matthew Perry refused to do a scene that involved his character, Chandler Bing, sneaking into a gay bar. Apparently, the storyline had Chandler inconspicuously wandering in to get his favorite sandwich–a tuna melt–which was offered at the establishment.

For those familiar with Friends, you’re likely aware of the ongoing punchline regarding Chandler’s sexuality and the questions seemingly prompted by some of his actions. And so, you also probably remember how the other characters would often poke fun at him for possibly being gay for one reason or another. But as it turns out, Matthew Perry didn’t find this one so funny.

As the Daily Mail reports, author Saul Austerlitz recapped what went down in his book, noting that Perry flat-out said no to the gay bar scene. Just like that, “the story was shelved.”

What’s less clear, however, is whether or not Matthew Perry actually had an issue with the potentially problematic storyline for its potential homophobic elements, or for other reasons that remain unknown. Well, unknown for right now, anyway.

Perhaps Matthew Perry knew that the line had to be drawn somewhere and with this storyline, an opportunity presented itself. In any case, it’s safe to say that the creators of the series made the right call when siding with the actor on this one if the scene was problematic, especially when looking back at Friends as a whole.

As the Daily Mail notes, the NBC mega-hit continues to be criticized by LGBT groups due to the way other characters frequently and casually mocked Chandler for his “perceived feminine mannerisms,” as well as Chandler’s relationship with his transgender father.

Maybe we’ll finally get Matthew Perry’s real take on why he was reportedly against this storyline from the start at the longly-awaited Friends reunion. Fingers crossed he had the best of intentions.

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