Jennifer Aniston: Pay disparity would have ‘destroyed’ Friends cast

In a recent interview, Jennifer Aniston, renowned for her role in the beloved sitcom Friends, unveiled a fascinating chapter from the show’s

behind-the-scenes dynamics. She revealed that the only potential threat to the unbreakable camaraderie of the cast was salary discrepancies.

When Friends first began gracing television screens in the 1990s, it was impossible to predict the cultural phenomenon it would become. The

show’s 10-season run was capped off with a grand finale in May 2004, and by then it was probably the biggest show in the world. By then, the main cast members were reportedly earning a staggering $1 million per episode.

Friends stars’ path to pay parity

However, the path to equal compensation was not always a smooth one, especially in the show’s early days. By the second season, Jennifer Aniston and co-star David Schwimmer were earning higher salaries than their fellow cast members, an arrangement that Aniston admitted left her feeling uneasy about the disparities.

Yet, what sets the Friends cast apart is their extraordinary bond, which was as strong in the real world as it had been between their characters in the show. Aniston revealed to the WSJ Magazine that she and Schwimmer were dedicated to ensuring parity among the six leading cast members.

She reflected on the potential impact of financial inequalities, remarking that such disparities could have “destroyed” their tight-knit group. “It would’ve destroyed us, I think, if someone was soaring financially. It was more about, ‘We’re doing equal work and we all deserve to be compensated in the same way.’ I wouldn’t feel good going to work knowing someone was getting x amount and I was getting something greater,” she said.

Jennifer Aniston on ‘cancel culture’

In the same interview, Aniston expressed her weariness with the concept, stating, “I’m so over cancel culture.” She went on to joke about the expected backlash for her comment, saying, “I probably just got cancelled by saying that. I just don’t understand what it means.… Is there no redemption? I don’t know. I don’t put everybody in the Harvey Weinstein basket.”