Patty Lin wrote for one season of the NBC sitcom. In her memoir End Credits: How I Broke Up with Hollywood, she shared that the stars, including Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer, “seemed unhappy to be chained to a tired old show when they could be branching out.” (Schwimmer couldn’t even blame the monkey.)
Lin accused the cast of “deliberately” sabotaging jokes. “They all knew how to get a laugh, but if they didn’t like a joke, they seemed to deliberately tank it, knowing we’d rewrite it. Dozens of good jokes would get thrown out just because one of them had mumbled the line through a mouthful of bacon,” she wrote. “Seeing themselves as guardians of their characters, they often argued that they would never do or say such-and-such. That was occasionally helpful, but overall, these sessions had a dire, aggressive quality that lacked all the levity you’d expect from the making of a sitcom.”
Lin also wrote about being the only person of color on the writing staff for Friends, a famously white show. “In all of my fears about the new job, I never predicted one of the challenges I would face was that the Friends writing staff was cliquey, more so than at any other show I would work on,” she said. “They reminded me of the preppy rich kids in my high school who shopped at Abercrombie & Fitch and drove brand-new convertibles.”
End Credits: How I Broke Up with Hollywood comes out on August 29th.