Mega props to this 'Friends' creator for her A+ response to sexist network execs
If the name “Marta Kauffman” sounds SUPER familiar, it’s probably because you’ve watched a bajillion episodes of Friends and always saw Kauffman’s name in the credits as one of the creators of the show. Kauffman also recently created the Netflix series Grace and Frankie which has been getting mad love.
Kauffman spoke at the ATX Television Festival this past weekend and explained that though Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe were always unapologetically and awesomely themselves, Kauffman often had to fight one particularly sexist exec to ensure that the female stories on the show were told authentically.
As the Huffington Post reports, the exec started giving the Friends creators trouble during the pilot when he objected to Monica sleeping with a man on the first date. The exec had such a problem with this plot point that he came to the dress rehearsal for the pilot with a printed-out poll.
As Kauffman explained at the festival:
“He handed out a questionnaire and one of the questions was, ‘For sleeping with a guy on a date, do you think Monica is A) A Slut, B) A Whore, C) Too Easy, D) None Of The Above.’ And it was all none of the above. Nobody cared except for this one guy.”
In the pilot, the man who sleeps with Monica ends us breaking up with her soon after and the sexist exec commented that Monica “deserved what she got.” In response, Kauffman very seriously told the crowd that, “fire came out of my nose.”
This exec continued to give the show super-sexist notes, and Kauffman referred to this higher-up as “a running misogyny issue.” Finally, after one particularly woman-unfriendly note, Kauffman decided she had enough and took action.
“I sent him a basket of pantyhose, tampons, lip stick, and nail polish.”
We love Kauffman for quite literally sticking it to the man and we are for sure backpocketing this sassed-up response for the next time some jerk we work with gets his misogyny on.