Matt LeBlanc Denies “Friends” Was Homophobic, Politically Incorrect

"I disagree with all that."

Matt LeBlanc is the host of BBC America’s car-enthusiast show Top Gear, but he’s addressing allegations his career-launching series, Friends, was racist and homophobic.

Younger viewers watching the iconic ’90s sitcom for the first time on Netflix have been put off by storylines that appear problematic through a modern lens, including jokes about Ross’ lesbian ex-wife, Phoebe’s figure-skating ex coming out as straight, Chandler’s female-impersonator dad, and the homoerotic nature of Chandler and Joey’s relationship.


There’s also a general disbelief that six young people lived in a Manhattan seemingly devoid of any people of color.

Speaking to the BBC, though, LeBlanc pushed back against claims of fat shaming and homophobia.

“I’ve heard those rumours too about people taking pot shots at Friends, but I don’t want to get into that,” he said. “I disagree with all that.”

While previous Top Gear Jeremy Clarkson was canned after a nasty blowup with producers, Le Blanc says the show tends “to steer clear of any sort of political content, nothing too topical.”

BBC America

“On Friends we steered clear of that kind of thing, too,” he added. “Friends was about themes that stand the test of time—trust, love, relationships, betrayal, family and things like that. I’m not in the business of making political jokes, politically incorrect jokes.”

The 50-year-old actor said not only does he not want to alienate potential viewers, but topical humor has a short shelf life. “That joke isn’t going to be relevant in six months,” he explained. “You talk about ’Hey man, you lied to me,’ or ’Wasn’t that fun?’ That’ll always be relevant.”

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.