Beloved Sitcom 'Friends' to Get an All-Black Table Read

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday September 22, 2020

In this July 10, 2019, file photo, Gabrielle Union arrives at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles
In this July 10, 2019, file photo, Gabrielle Union arrives at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles  (Source:Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Evergreen '90s sitcom "Friends" is about to get a table read in much the same way "The Golden Girls" recently did, but with a twist: The read, scheduled for 9:00 pm EST this evening (Sept. 22) on Zoom, will have an all-Black cast, Entertainment Weekly reports.

Gabrielle Union will host the table read, in which the cast - which includes Uzo Aduba, Ryan Bathe, Sterling K. Brown, Aisha Hinds, Jeremy Pope, and Kendrick Sampson - will read the Season Three episode "The One Where No One's Ready."

People Magazine reports:

The event is part of 'Zoom Where It Happens' — a live table read series presented by Black women artists (in partnership with Zoom), whose goal is to raise activation, awareness and intention about the right to vote.

People recalled that the same episode of the beloved sitcom was re-cast with Black actors in a 2017 Jay-Z's music video "Moonlight."

The "Zoom Where It Happens" series kicked off on Sept. 8 with a table read of a "Golden Girls" episode featuring an all-Black cast. The "Friends" read is the series' second episode. The series is scheduled to continue through Election Day.

Host Gabrielle Union appeared on "Friends" in its seventh season, Elle reported. Tonight's reading is free of charge, but any money raised will support Michelle Obama's When We All Vote, Elle noted.

Union and her husband, Dwyane Wade, made headlines earlier this year for their unconditional, and very public, support of their transgender daughter, Zaya.

"Friends" ran for ten seasons, from 1994 - 2004, and starred Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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