Matthew Perry Offended More Than Just Keanu Reeves Fans With His Memoir Stories

Friends star Matthew Perry’s new memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing just came out and it already has people talking. This book is told to absolutely not “sugarcoat” anything about his experience being on the hit sitcom and reflects on his struggles with addiction as well as past relationships. But with Keanu Reeves fans already offended by a passage in the book, there are other people speaking out against a different part of the newly-released memoir.

Matthew Perry has been very candid about the health issues he faced due to addiction, even attributing his life being saved in a medical emergency to being a former cast member of Friends. According to People, Perry needed a "hellish" emergency ostomy surgery after his colon burst in 2019. For those who don’t know, ostomy surgery is a life-saving procedure where doctors create an opening in the abdomen for waste or urine to leave the body. The actor said he spent two weeks in a coma from this colon bursting due to years of opioid abuse, only to wake with a colostomy bag that “breaks all the time.”

And his comments about his ostomy experience were offensive to some with their own experiences. According to The Daily Beast, ostomy nurse Glenda Hamburg felt that People’s headline of Matthew Perry "recovering” from his colostomy was “exceedingly inaccurate” in that this surgery saved his life. Other people in the ostomy community were offended by the message that an ostomy is a worst-case scenario and the last resort, leading to negative stigmas about this life-saving procedure. 

The President of the United Ostomy Associations of America, James Murray, wrote a statement (via about his wish for more people to have a more positive mindset about this surgery and that the ostomy bags do not “break all the time” as Perry said. While the bags may leak sometimes, the proper education and resources can help people adapt to the bags. It seems like all of this is just a matter of the 17 Again actor’s opinion based on his own personal experience. Everyone adapts to surgery differently. 

Matthew Perry previously riled up Keanu Reeves fans when he shared in his book excerpt that he didn’t understand how River Phoenix and Chris Farley passed away, yet The Matrix actor still lives. He then apologized with the acknowledgment that he picked a name at random and should have just used his own name instead. As there are a lot of fans out there who actually love Keanu Reeves, he was probably not the best actor to pick for that passage. Hopefully, his Friends co-stars will read his memoir and not be offended. After all, working on one of the most popular shows on television was a big part of his life.

This comedic actor may have offended the ostomy community and Keanu Reeves fans, but hopefully, the reception for the rest of the book will be nothing but praiseworthy. You can watch all episodes of Friends on your HBO Max subscription as well as read Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing on bookshelves now. 

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.