For years, the showrunner dismissed critics who said the NBC series wasn’t diverse enough, but now, she sees they were right. “Admitting and accepting guilt is not easy,” Kauffman told The Los Angeles Times June 29. “It’s painful looking at yourself in the mirror. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know better 25 years ago.”
In the past, Kauffman felt like the series, which ran from 1994 to 2004, was being called out for no reason, saying that it was “difficult and frustrating” to understand why people were so critical.
It’s only in recent years that she’s come to understand the importance of representation on-screen. “It was after what happened to George Floyd that I began to wrestle with my having bought into systemic racism in ways I was never aware of,” Kauffman explained. “That was really the moment that I began to examine the ways I had participated. I knew then I needed to course-correct.”