Let’s face it. We all, at one point, probably fantasized about Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer or Matthew Perry while Friends was on the air for 10 years. Heck, we were even treated to some same sex smooches between them as the show went along.
We could’ve actually seen a lot more man on man action (or whatever the 90’s version of that is) if one of their characters was actually gay. Turns out that was something that should’ve happened for Chandler Bing (Perry), although it never came to fruition.
Ranker published a list of Friends-related facts that included one about Chandler initially being cast as gay. That of course didn’t happen although there were a lot of gay jokes thrown his way, some of which he even uttered himself.
It would’ve been interesting to see how the show would’ve differed if Chandler was one of us. Instead, we spent most of the series watching his relationship with Monica (Courteney Cox) grow which eventually led to them getting married and having twins.
Friends has had a challenging history with the LGBTQ community both when the show was on NBC and when it turned into rerun central on cable & streaming services. They were praised for highlighting a lesbian couple from the time the series began in 1994, one of which was Ross’ (Schwimmer) first wife.
Then there was the opposite end of the spectrum where many have deemed the show to be homophobic. For example: the way how Chandler’s dad Charles Bing (played by Kathleen Turner) was heavily criticized by the LGBTQ community for her portrayal where she’s mostly referred to as a gay man, a drag queen, or a cross-dresser.
There were many inappropriate jokes about her said along the way, even before series creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane confirmed that she was a trans woman (they admitted this after the show wrapped).
Friends has also faced criticism during and since the show ended in 2004 over its major diversity issues, treatment of Monica when she was fat, and so on and so forth.
Would the show have received a ton of problems if they hurled a lot of similar jokes about Chandler being gay (even more than they already did with him being straight)? The world will never know.