According to reports from The Hollywood Reporter, Union lis going to host an all-Black reading of the popular ’90s sitcom. The reading will feature real-life married couple Sterling K. Brown and Ryan Bathe as Ross and Rachel, Uzo Aduba as Phoebe, Kendrick Sampson as Joey, Jeremy Pope as Chandler, and Aisha Hinds as Monica.
This project marks the latest The Zoom Where It Happens event. The Friends reading will be directed by Salli Richardson-Whitfield and the cast will reenact “The One Where No One’s Ready,” the second episode of the third season.
According to the campaign’s website, the Zoom Where It Happens initiative aims to catalyze voters and amplify the fight for voting rights and electoral justice, through culture and entertainment. Episode one of the series featured a rendition of Golden Girls reimagined with an all-black cast. Alfre Woodard, Tracee Ellis Ross, Sanaa Lathan, and Regina King joined the last reading and had fans rolling with their fun-filled take on the classic 80’s sitcom.
For episode two of the series, Tessa Thompson and Issa Rae—who notably appeared in Jay-Z’s take on a Black version of Friends for his “Moonlight” video—are set to be part of the reading’s production team alongside other big names like Kerry Washington, Rashida Jones, Stefanie and Quentin James, Karen Richardson, Ava DuVernay, Latanya Richardson, Channing Dungey. Bathe, and Hinds.
Interestingly enough, Hov’s “Moonlight” video recreated the same episode this event is going to.
While definitely entertaining, this reading was actually put together in hopes of gathering support for Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote initiative. The nonpartisan nonprofit’s mission is to change the culture around voting by bringing together citizens, institutions, brands, and organizations.