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(CNN) — Marta Kauffman says she now gets why people have been critical of “Friends.”

The co-creator of the hit comedy series told the Los Angeles Times she had initially thought people were unfairly targeting the sitcom about its lack of diversity but explained she’s “learned a lot in the last 20 years.

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“Admitting and accepting guilt is not easy,” Kaufman said. “It’s painful looking at yourself in the mirror. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know better 25 years ago.”

“Friends,” which ran from 1994 – 2004, starred Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer. It had been criticized for a lack of longstanding characters of color.

In 2020, Schwimmer told The Guardian he was “very aware of my privilege as a heterosexual white male” and said “Friends” happened during a “pre-woke” time when story was not as inclusive.

“Maybe there should be an all-Black ‘Friends’ or an all-Asian ‘Friends,'” said Schwimmer, who played Ross for 10 seasons. “But I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of color. One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian-American woman, and later I dated African-American women. That was a very conscious push on my part.”

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That didn’t go over well with some who pointed out that the all-Black cast comedy “Living Single” aired from 1993 to 1998 (predating “Friends” by a year”) and, like “Friends,” focused on six young adults and their intertwined lives in New York City.

Kauffman, who created “Friends” with David Crane, told the LA Times that she came to better understand systemic racism in the US after the George Floyd murder and consequently the complaints about the show.

That helped motivate her to pledge $4 million to her alma mater, Brandeis University in Boston, for the establishment of an endowed professorship in the school’s African and African American studies department.

Since the endowment was announced, Kauffman said she’s “gotten nothing but love.”

“It’s been amazing. It surprised me to some extent because I didn’t expect the news to go this wide,” she said. “I’ve gotten a flood of emails and texts and posts that have been nothing but supportive. I’ve gotten a lot of ‘It’s about time.’ Not in a mean way. It’s just people acknowledging it was long overdue.”

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Tyson Fury was 6ft 4in and 14 STONE when he first turned up at amateur gym aged 14 & was banned from boxing in juniors

TYSON FURY was banned from fighting in junior competitions during his early teens because he weighed a whopping 14 STONE.

The bruising WBC heavyweight champion, who faces Dillian Whyte at Wembley tomorrow, was a goliath from a young age and dwarfed his training and sparring partners.

4Tyson Fury is one of the biggest fighters in the heavyweight divisionCredit: AP 4And The Gypsy King weighed a whopping 14 STONE at the tender age of 14Credit: REX 4The sheer size of Fury meant he couldn't keep as junior until he was 15Credit: GETTY

And the sheer size of the teenage Gypsy King meant former amateur coach Steve Egan didn't get to see him in action until he was 16.

Egan told SunSport: "He came in 6ft4in, 14 stones when he first came into our gym age 14 in 2002.

"One day I turned to my dad and I said, 'He’s going to be the heavyweight champion of the world.'

"I told Tyson that he’s going to be the heavyweight champion of the world; he didn’t tell me.

READ MORE SPORTFURY VS WHYTE How to watch HUGE Wembley showdown between Fury and Whyte

"He loved it the fact that I told him he was going to be that good. He started to believe it. We always had a laugh.

"He didn’t fight in the Juniors because he was too big. He was too big for his age, so I couldn’t get him any fights till he was 16.

"When he was 14 there was no one else that was that big. Even at 15.

"So he had to wait till he was 16 so he could box the 16-year-olds and the 17-year-olds. So he couldn’t compete before that."

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Fan favourite Fury is one of the most confident fighters on the planet, but that wasn't always the case.

Egan recalled: "I remember one time – I think it was his first fight – when we were doing the weigh-ins he wore a red boot and a blue boot. He had two pairs but just it did it for a giggle.

"Yes, we all had a giggle back then too, being funny.

"There were times he doubted himself too, as a lad, when things didn’t go right in the gym sometimes, and he would say, 'How can I be world champion when I can’t do this.'"

Brother Shane was the cause of a some Fury's self-doubt, which Egan did his his best to eradicate.

Egan said: "Once when he was sparring his brother Shane, and Shane had done well for once, Tyson was moaning, 'How am I going to be world champion when I can’t even beat Shane, a novice!'

"I said to him, 'Shane knows you better than anyone else, you’ve been messing around with Shane ever since you’ve been little boys !

"'One day he’s going to get the better of you it’s just one of them things. No one else is going to know you like he does.

"'So, today, it went all right for him he knew where you were coming from.'

"I said, 'I wish I was as f***ing rubbish as you are.'"

4Former coach Steve Egan always knew Tyson Fury was destined for greatnessCredit: POLARIS

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