The insufferable wokeness of David Schwimmer

The actor has suggested an ‘all-black or all-Asian’ reboot of Friends.



In a crowded field of cloyingly woke celebrities, David Schwimmer (aka Ross from Friends) is becoming a real contender.

In a recent interview with the Guardian, he made clear he was ‘very aware of my own privilege as a heterosexual white male’.

When conversation turned to another series of Friends, the hit Nineties sitcom that typecast him forever, he suggested that ‘maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends’. Quite what the point of this would be, other than to signal Schwimmer’s and the showmakers’ virtue, is not quite clear.

This isn’t the first time the New York actor has made headlines for taking an achingly right-on stance. In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, he was praised for offering a female reporter a chaperone for an interview, which was (as is often the case) taking place in a hotel room.

While actors can be forgiven for a tendency towards worthiness, the insufferably woke utterances of Schwimmer are at least a reminder of how identity politics is really about paternalism. It’s about self-described privileged people offering their patronage to women and minorities.

Such people think they have the power to boost people’s self-esteem through on-screen representation, and (in Schwimmer’s case) treat women in literally the same way as the Victorians did – as in need of protection from kindly chaperones. More self-awareness on the part of woke celebs is desperately needed.

Picture by: Getty.

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Neil McCaughan

3rd February 2020 at 2:04 pm

There was an Ayatollah-inspired version of The Golden Girls on TV years ago. The protagonists all wore burqas, and so were indistinguishable. Unable to see, they just bumped into the sets and each other.

Perhaps Friends could do something similar.

Ven Oods

2nd February 2020 at 9:35 am

I was always amazed that Schwimmer was reportedly the only one of the cast of Friends to have had a part written with him in mind.
Something must have gone badly wrong, since the episodes that I watched suggested that his was the weakest and least likeable character.
Admittedly, my pool of paleontological acquaintance is very limited, but I’m sure most of them aren’t such self-absorbed wimps.

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