Friends is straight culture, that’s not something we’re arguing, but it did feature a few queer characters — however problematically they were portrayed. Remember Kathleen Turner as Chandler’s trans dad? Or the time Ross assumed Rachel’s male nanny was gay? Or the time Ross preempted Kevin Hart by yelling at his son for playing with a Barbie doll? Yikes, Friends would have been cancelled if it had aired those episodes today.
One of Friends less offensive queer characters was Carol (Jane Sibbett), Ross’s ex-wife who left him after realizing she was gay. In the season two episode “The One with the Lesbian Wedding,” Carol married her partner Susan (Jessica Hecht). But according to The Guardian’s new article “'Jennifer Aniston cried in my lap': the inside story of Friends,” that landmark lesbian wedding wasn’t shown everywhere in the US.
“It was important to us, and the producers, that we showed a couple that was in love,” Sibbet told the Guardian. “But certain affiliates wouldn’t air the episode with our wedding. They completely blocked it out.”
Sibbett also revealed that she was behind one of the show’s racier sight gags. “There was one joke we kept changing. We couldn’t get it right. It was the episode where Susan and I are celebrating our anniversary, and Ross comes over at an inopportune moment, and I had to telegraph to him that it isn’t a good time. So I removed a little pube from my tongue,” Sibbett explains. “That was the only time I pitched something that was really outrageous, and it actually got on air.”