The beloved sitcom Friends is addressing recent criticism over some its more homophobic elements in a big way. The show will reportedly be auctioning off over 100 replicas of costumes worn on the show and assorted props, with all proceeds going to benefit national youth suicide prevention organization The Trevor Project.
According to Variety, items that will be up for grabs include a reproduction of the bright orange couch the characters frequented at Central Perk, a replica of Ross’ “holiday armadillo” costume, and a wood canoe just like the one that was a fixture of Joey and Chandler’s bachelor pad. Each is estimated to net anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000, with the armadillo ensemble fetching the highest price. Lots of secret Ross stans out there.
Additional items set to be auctioned off include a turkey wearing sunglasses and a fez and a blue and green Hawaiian print dress for the person in your life who self-identifies as “such a Rachel.” (Note: Cut this person out immediately, or at least right after they donate to a worthy cause).
The entertainment magazine notes that anyone who signs up for the auction is automatically entered to win a production script from Friends, which ran for 10 seasons on NBC before rewewing its ubiquity on Netflix.
But while the show, which turned 25 this year, remains iconic for redefining the 20-something hangout comedy, Friends has recently faced under some criticism for components that haven’t aged well. Kathleen Turner, who played Chandler’s “dad” on the show, told Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen in an interview last week that she would turn down the transgender role if it were offered to her today.
“Of course, I wouldn’t do it now,” she said, “because there would be real people able to do it.”
Friends also had a tendency to rely on easy gay panic jokes for laughs — such as an afternoon nap between Ross and Joey that went awry — and to express discomfort around the existence of LGBTQ+ people. An entire subplot, for instance, is devoted to Ross’ problem with Rachel having a male nanny, who he insists must be gay (or at least bisexual). While the show was lauded for airing one of TV’s first same-sex weddings, the ceremony was also interrupted by a homophobic ghost (yes, that is real).
However, the auction — which runs from December 3 to 17 — will go a long way to demonstrating accountability through allyship to the LGBTQ+ community. All items will be available at propstore.com/friends.