A Writer for ‘Friends’ Slams the Cast in New Memoir

FRIENDS, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, 2000-01 season, series running 1994-present
Everett Collection

One of the writers from the famous ’90s/2000s sitcom Friends is telling it all. Patty Lin is releasing a memoir called End Credits: How I Broke Up With Hollywood. The book shares her time working on the show and it doesn’t sound like she is holding back a thing. While many people, especially writers, might consider working on such a famous show a dream come true, Lin admitted it was often a nightmare.

Prior to working on Friends, Lin worked on a few shows including Freaks and Geeks, and had mainly positive experiences. Early in her career, she got a call from her agent that the Friends team wanted to talk to her about working on the show’s seventh season. She revealed in her book, “You don’t know if you’re getting the job because of your talent or your race. Naturally, I wondered whether I was hired for ‘Friends’ because of the diversity program or because I was the right person for the job. But dwelling on that question wasn’t going to help my career.”

FRIENDS, Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, 1994-present, episode The One With the Joke aired January 13, 2000, ep612

Everett Collection

So, Lin took the job and said that she was one of 14 writers working on the show in 2000 but was one of the only women and the only minority. Lin said that she often worked 12-hour days and the writers were split into two teams to work on the current episode and prepare for the next one. In 2000, the show was already a major success and catapulted the cast into stardom.


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She shared, “The actors seemed unhappy to be chained to a tired old show when they could be branching out. I felt like they were constantly wondering how every given script would specifically serve them.” She added that if one of the stars didn’t like a joke assigned to them, they would “deliberately tank it” to get a new one. She continued, “Everyone would sit around Monica and Chandler’s apartment and discuss the script. This was the actors’ first opportunity to voice their opinions, which they did vociferously. They rarely had anything positive to say, and when they brought up problems, they didn’t suggest feasible solutions.”

FRIENDS, David Schwimmer, 1994-2004

NBC/Everett Collection

Even though Lin didn’t have a positive experience with most of the cast, she singled out David Schwimmer (who plays Ross in the show). Lin said, “I was tapped to be an extra, playing one of the angry neighbors who stalks Monica and Chandler’s apartment, demanding more candy. I escaped from the huddle and stepped onto the set, joining the rowdy mob packed into the hallway. David Schwimmer, who was directing the episode, came over to give instructions. ‘Patty, can you scooch closer to the door?’ I scooched, thrilled that instead of saying, ‘Hey you,’ Schwimmer addressed me by name. That night was the high point of my ‘Friends’ experience. For once, I felt like I had something to do with the show.”

FRIENDS, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, 2000-01 season, series running 1994-present

Everett Collection

Ultimately, Lin was not asked to return to work on season eight and admitted that the whole experience made her never want to work on a sitcom again. She eventually retired from TV writing in 2008. You can get her book here.

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