"There’s a whole generation of people, kids, who are now going back to episodes of 'Friends' and find them offensive," the star told the international AFP news agency in Paris while promoting her new movie "Murder Mystery 2."
The show aired from 1994 to 2004 but has been criticized recently for its lack of diversity in casting and storylines.
Left-leaning critics have slammed the show which ran for 10 years on NBC for having only two recurring characters of color, both of whom were short-lived love interests for Ross.
Aniston, 54, told the outlet, "There were things that were never intentional and others … well, we should have thought it through, but I don’t think there was a sensitivity like there is now," admitting that some of the show’s storylines would likely have been victims of "cancel culture" in 2023.
"Comedy has evolved — movies have evolved," Aniston continued. "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."
The Emmy winner added that comedians back in the day "could joke about a bigot and have a laugh."
"That was hysterical, and it was about educating people on how ridiculous people were, and now we’re not allowed to do that."
Aniston told the interviewer, "Everybody needs funny. We can’t take ourselves too seriously. Especially in the United States. Everyone is far too divided."
Aniston’s "Friends" co-star Lisa Kudrow told the Daily Beast last year that series creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman didn’t have the knowledge or resources to write storylines about people of different races. "I feel like it was a show created by two people who went to Brandeis and wrote about their lives after college. And for shows especially, when it’s going to be a comedy that’s character-driven, you write what you know. They have no business writing stories about the experiences of being a person of color."
In 2022, Kauffman, 66, said she was "embarrassed" by the lack of diversity and made a $4 million donation to her alma mater, Brandeis University, to fund an endowed chair in the school’s African and African American studies department.
She said at the time that after the death of George Floyd in 2020, "I needed to course-correct," and reconcile America’s racist past and her role in perpetuating systems of racism.
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