An appeals court is reinstating an ex-Friends writers' assistant's harassment lawsuit against the show's writers. The woman claims that the writers constantly joked about sex and women, and even went so far as to make sexual gestures in the workplace. (Ed. note—We've always been a sucker for the one where you stick your finger in a little "o" you make with your other hand and move it in and out. Comedy gold!)
The court dismissed the part of her lawsuit that accused the writers of discriminating against her because she is black and a woman, and that her firing was retaliation for complaining about the lack of black characters on the show.
The whole thing sounds a little spurious to us. The last place you're going to find a woman or a black person is in the writers' room on a sitcom. But we can imagine the first time this came up, probably in Season 2:
INT. FRIENDS WRITERS ROOM - DAY
WRITER: Okay, Okay. Check this out. We add a seventh Friend. And get this—the dude's black.
[The room busts out in laughter.]
WRITER: OK. Maybe we'll go with the albino. (A long beat) I'm fired, aren't I?