Female ‘Friends’ creator reveals the brilliant response to ‘running misogyny issue’ on set and the shocking detail about plot

The co-creator of Friends has spoken out about a "running misogyny issue" in the early days of the show and how she dealt with it in the most 'Friends' way possible - through some fierce humour.

Speaking during a panel for her new Netflix show Grace and Frankie at the ATX Television Festival, Marta Kauffman said "There was a man who was the head of the network at the time, a bit of a misogynist." 

While working on the pilot issue, she said "He was having trouble with Monica sleeping with a guy on the first date."

She recalled that after the dress rehearsal of the episode the unnamed misogynist said, "[Monica] deserved what she got" when her date broke up with her soon after. When Kauffman heard his remarks, "Fire came out of my nose," she said. 

That was just one example of the "running misogyny issue" Kauffman recalled from an executive in the Friends office. 

Doing her best to stay true to her and fellow co-creator David Crane's vision of the show, she decided to send the office misogynist a very special package.

"He was a little hurt by something I said once," she said. "So, I sent him a basket of pantyhose, tampons, lip stick and nail polish."

Crane also decided to confront the issue by conducting a survey on sexism at the next dress rehearsal. "He handed out a questionnaire and one of the questions was, 'For sleeping with a guy on a date, do you think Monica is A) A Slut, B) A Whore, C) Too Easy, D) None Of The Above. And it was all none of the above. Nobody cared except for this one guy."

Monica and Chandler

The co-creator also revealed some unknown facts about the show, most surprisingly that Monica Geller and Chandler Bing (played by Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry, respectively) would never have got married if it wasn't for the fans. 

In fact, the couple's London affair in the season four finale was planned to be an amusing one-night stand.

"We had no idea what response that was going get," said Kaufmann. "We thought it was going to be funny and we were going to get rid of it. Suddenly the audience told us they had been waiting for that and we had to rethink how we were going to keep going and change the relationship. But that wasn't a person — it was an entire, immediate expression of joy."

"We had to stop [filming] the show because people were screaming," she added.

Monica and Ross

She also said that the writers always wanted Ross and Rachel to end up together. When asked if they ever considered not having the iconic TV couple united in the final episode, Kauffman responded: "for about 4 seconds."

"That would have been dumb," she said. "In the very first episode we see that he loves her."

Speaking about the final ever scene, she revealed that they always knew how they wanted it to end. "We knew we wanted to have them move out of that apartment and leave that empty space because every time I thought about it I got teary," said Kauffman. "We knew it'd be an emotional image."

We're welling up just thinking about it. If you need a moment to remember and reminisce, here's the epic scene below.

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