‘Friends’ Creator: It Was a ‘Mistake’ Misgendering Kathleen Turner’s Trans Character, I ‘Feel Stupid’

‘Friends’ Creator: It Was a ‘Mistake’ Misgendering Kathleen Turner’s Trans Character, I ‘Feel Stupid’
Friends” co-creator Marta Kauffman opened up about the misstep in referring to Chandler Bing’s transgender parent, played by Kathleen Turner, in the original series as a man.

Kauffman, who created the 1994 to 2004 series with David Crane, admitted that “referring to her as ‘Chandler’s father’, even though Chandler’s father was trans” was a “mistake.”

“Pronouns were not yet something that I understood. So we didn’t refer to that character as ‘she.’ That was a mistake,” Kauffman said during “The Conversation” on the BBC World Service (via The Huffington Post).

Matthew Perry as Chandler endured numerous jokes about his “dad,” played by Turner, on the series. Turner played Chandler’s parent Charles Bing, who performed as Helena Handbasket for her drag stage show Viva Las Gaygas. The series never explicitly addressed whether Charles was trans, but Kauffman confirmed that she was.

Kauffman added that she set out to
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