For those who don't know, Friends, the hit TV show that began airing in 1994 and ran for a decade, is now streaming on Netflix. This has caused a whole new generation of fans to watch.
But for many, the show doesn't square with modern attitudes...
Rewatching Friends on netflix and struck by:— Katherine Dunn (@elgatty) January 4, 2018
- so many transphobic, homophobic and biphobic jokes 🙃🙃🙃
- Ross is THE WORST
- Chandler is twitter and I hate my awkward crush on him
- UGH all the Fat Monica jokes. I remember them so clearly, they used to follow me round in my head when I was a teenager and stopped eating THANKS GUYS— Katherine Dunn (@elgatty) January 4, 2018
There is nothing I hate more than Ross in the male nanny episode of Friends. He is SO SEXIST AND HOMOPHOBIC and I just want to jump into the tv and strangle him— christina (@cxorlando) January 8, 2018
I was a uni student in the 90s so looked forward to rewatching Friends on Netflix over New Year. But I agree - the ‘fat Monica’ and ‘gay Chandler’ ‘jokes’ feel very out of place now. And was Joey *always* that bit creepy? Disappointing.— Christine Carr (@ChristineCarr) January 4, 2018
And soon, a politician from the Tory Party in the British Parliament, one of Britain's conservative parties, named Kemi Badenoch, decided to chime in on the controversy.
She said in an interview with Politics Home published last Thursday...
"When I look at a lot of the stuff that you see on social media about how – I think it’s a generational thing as well – younger people look at appropriate behaviours and what is a sexual advance, what is sexual harassment and so on; to me, it’s actually becoming a lot more puritanical than anything I ever saw in my 20s or in my teens.In the papers they were talking about how Friends is now sort of really homophobic, transphobic and so on. That, for me, is a very, very – it’s actually a puritanical position which I think of as conservative. So, you can’t really put your finger on what is what these days.
Friends was the biggest television series of all time. Everybody loved it, it was syndicated all around the world. The idea that in a few years people are talking about it as if it’s this horrific series, for me that just doesn’t compute, something has gone wrong somewhere."
So she is arguing that people are actually more conservative these days because they're 'puritanical' about inclusiveness and that puritanism is inherently conservative?
MP Kemi Badenoch is seen by many as a future Tory Party leader, so her words carry weight.
But some weren't sure if this was where she should be planting her flag...
Of all the hills she could have chosen to die on, she picked Friends?— Adam Fereday (@AdamRJFereday) January 18, 2018
No-one was offended though, it was a non-story. She's hitting out at fictional people. Hope the irony isn't lost on anyone.— Cynical Bathtub (@cynical_bathtub) January 18, 2018
Is this really what passes for cogent thought in the 2017 Tory party?— Tobias Wood (@spinicist) January 19, 2018
Many had criticism for the Tory party...
I never fail to be astonished at the disdain the Tories show for young people. So much pearl clutching.— Mark Worgan 🇪🇺 (@worgztheowl) January 18, 2018
This is mild. She was defending Toby Young last week. The whole damn lot of them remind me of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.— sparklecreek #PCPEU (@sparklecreek) January 20, 2018
And of course, Badenoch herself couldn't resist chiming in, saying...
Looking forward to reading the full interview in the House Magazine where I talk about my new role encouraging a diverse range of people to become Tory candidates and how Friends was the best sitcom ever! (After Frasier and Brooklyn 99 😀)— Kemi Badenoch MP (@KemiBadenoch) January 18, 2018
Which spurred this major criticism...
As a constituent and as a man, I am worried about your desire to draw attention to yourself with deliberately inflammatory statements. Sexual harassment is real, it is illegal and it's not "puritanical" to object to behaviour that violates someone's dignity.— Insect Nation (@Insect_Nation) January 19, 2018
As a constituent, I was horrified to read your comments accusing young people of being puritanical about sexual harrasment.— Angela Fearnside (@angelafearns1de) January 19, 2018
Would a candidate with views like Ken Clarke's or Anna Soubry's get selected today? If not, then don't be surprised if your party becomes an unrepresentative sect.— Property Spotter (@PropertySpot) January 19, 2018