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Former NBC President Slut-Shamed Monica Over The "Friends" Pilot

Co-creator Marta Kauffman remembered him saying "She deserved what she got" during a panel at the ATX Television Festival in Austin. "At which point fire came out of my nose."

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While filming the pilot episode of Friends, co-creator Marta Kauffman dealt with her not-so-favorite note from an executive at NBC over Monica (Courteney Cox) sleeping with "Paul the Wine Guy."

"We were doing the pilot, and the man who was the head of the network at the time — bit of a misogynist. Lovely, lovely guy," Kaufman told moderator and Nerdist podcaster Ben Blacker during a panel Friday morning at the ATX Television Film Festival in Austin.

"He was having trouble with Monica sleeping with a guy on the first date," she recalled of the storyline, which ended with said guy having lied to Monica about not being able to have sex since he got dumped, in order, as Ross said, "to get [her] into bed."

"In a notes session after we'd just done a sort of dress rehearsal in front of an audience, [the executive said,] 'She deserved what she got,'" Kauffman remembered. "At which point fire came out of my nose."

"Thank god for [co-creator] David Crane, who can do a hell of a tap dance, and he sort of, you know, pulled the guy away and I was just like, 'Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god,'" she continued.

The following day, at another dress rehearsal, the executive "handed out a questionnaire and one of the questions was, 'For sleeping with a guy on a first date, do you think Monica is a) a slut, b) a whore, c) too easy, d) none of the above,'" Kauffman remembered. "And nobody cared, except this one guy."

That one guy, whom Kauffman identified in a 2012 interview with Vanity Fair, was West Coast president Don Ohlmeyer.

"But, I have to say, it ended up being a very funny thing because we had a running misogyny issue," she said. "He was a little hurt by something I said once, so I sent him a basket of panty hose, tampons, nail polish — like a big basket of girly things. And he sent me a Harley-Davidson jacket."

Jaimie Etkin is the entertainment editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Jaimie Etkin at jaimie.etkin@buzzfeed.com.

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