Subscribe To NBC Exec Slut-Shamed Monica Over First-Date Sex, Friends Creators Reveal Updates
monica geller friends pilot nbc central perk

When Friends premiered way back in 1994, nobody could have guessed that it would become the comedy juggernaut that it eventually became for NBC. In fact, one NBC exec had an issue with one of the key plots of the very first episode, and arguably the story of the pilot most memorable after Rachel joining the group after running into Central Perk in her wedding dress. Monica's first-date hookup with Paul the Wine Guy got her slut-shamed by a head honcho, according to the co-creators.

Co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane opened up about Friends in honor of the show's 25th anniversary at the Tribeca TV Festival (via Variety), with Kauffman saying this about Monica's pilot sex:

The person who was the head of NBC at the time felt that Monica got what she deserved for sleeping with a guy on the first date.

As Friends fans likely remember, the pilot episode featured Monica finally getting to go out with Paul the Wine Guy, who she'd had her eye on for a while. The date went well, with Paul feeling he could open up about his inability to perform sexually since his wife left him.

Or so it seemed, anyway. Monica (and probably plenty of viewers at the time) believed Paul, and she slept with him after their first date. Unfortunately for poor Monica, she later learned that Paul the Wine Guy had spun the same story to one of her co-workers to get her to sleep with him as well.

Creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane explained that the network wasn't unhappy about the episode featuring a man lying to one of its leading ladies to get her to sleep with him, but rather because Monica slept with a guy on the first date. NBC reportedly tried to nix the story, but Kauffman revealed how it made it into the pilot after all:

The person who was the head of NBC at the time felt that Monica got what she deserved for sleeping with a guy on the first date.

Marta Kauffman also stated that this exec referred to Monica as a "slut" or "whore" for her actions after Paul lied to her. She didn't name the executive who weighed in on Monica this way, but the head of NBC during the 90s when Friends premiered was Warren Littlefield, who also allegedly had a hand in making sure that Jennifer Aniston's CBS project tanked so she'd be free to join Friends. (Littlefield went on to become an executive producer on The Handmaid's Tale.)

David Crane explained that the NBC head's attitude that Monica deserved what she got is "how it got in," and he dropped the news on the creator "right after the network run-through," and Marta Kauffman's eyes had "glazed over." She elaborated that "fire was coming out" of her nose.

The good news is that neither the story nor the NBC exec's opinion derailed Friends or changed the pilot. Kevin Bright, an executive producer for Friends, shared that any fears that audiences were lash out at Monica for sleeping with Paul the Wine Guy came to nothing:

They handed out an actual survey to see if people felt that she was a slut…and nobody cared. They liked her. There was no judgement that came from the survey.

So, the Friends pilot kept the story of Monica hooking up with Paul after the first date, and she went on to become a beloved character in sitcom history. Thanks to Netflix, she and the rest of the Friends lineup didn't fade into obscurity following the end of the series in 2004, although it has also aired in syndication. Friends has been so popular on the streaming giant that Netflix shelled out a lot of money to keep it for just a little longer.

In the not-too-distant future, Friends will leave the streamer and be absent from any service until its new streaming platform launches, so be sure to get your rewatching in sooner rather than later if you plan to do so on Netflix. There are plenty of new options coming to Netflix soon, and the fall TV lineup will be stacked with options.

Why Sophia Bush Left Chicago P.D.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

More From CinemaBlend

 

Related

Hot Topics

Cookie Settings