"Friends" Co-Creator Marta Kauffman Says She Regrets Misgendering Chandler's Trans Parent

    "Pronouns were not yet something I understood."

    Friends was, obviously, one of the biggest TV shows of the 1990s — and it's still plenty beloved today.

    A cast photo of the main actors of Friends

    Hardcore fans might recall that Chandler Bing had a trans parent who went by the stage name "Helena Handbasket." The character was eventually played by Kathleen Turner.

    Helena holding a mic as they walked through a crowd during a show

    When Helena was brought up on the show, characters would frequently refer to her as "Chandler's father," misgendering the character as a result. There was even a Season 7 episode titled "The One With Chandler's Dad."

    A closeup of Chandler sitting on a stool as he smiles

    Marta Kauffman — who's also behind TV shows like Grace and Frankie — was the co-creator of Friends, and in an upcoming interview she addressed regret for how Helena was misgendered in the show.

    Marta standing on the red carpet for a Grace and Frankie event

    While talking to BBC News (via E! News), Marta addressed the fact that the show "kept referring to [Helena] as ‘Chandler's father,' even though Chandler's father was trans."

    "Pronouns were not yet something that I understood, so we didn't refer to that character as ‘she.' That was a mistake."

    Helena and Chandler interacting during a show

    This isn't the first time that Marta's recently expressed regret regarding Friends. Last week, she told the Los Angeles Times about her plans to donate $4 million to Brandeis University's African and African American Studies department as a result of the show's lack of diverse casting.

    "I've learned a lot in the last 20 years," she said. "Admitting and accepting guilt is not easy. It's painful looking at yourself in the mirror. I'm embarrassed that I didn't know better 25 years ago."

    Marta's interview with BBC News airs July 11. In the meantime, you can read her conversation with the Los Angeles Times here.