Emmys Producers Candidly Explain Why The Friends Cast Likely Didn't Reunite For Matthew Perry's Tribute

 Matthew Perry as Chandler on Friends.
Matthew Perry as Chandler on Friends.

2023 saw the losses of many notable Hollywood stars, and more than a few of those seemed to have deep impacts on the entertainment industry and the public at large. Matthew Perry’s death seemed to have a particularly major impact on people. With that, various fans and celebrities alike paid tribute to the late comedian. Unsurprisingly, he was also honored at this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards. What didn’t happen, however, was a reunion of Perry’s fellow Friends cast members. Now, the telecast’s producers have provided some information on why the ensemble likely didn’t come together for the occasion.

Throughout the evening, the winners of the 75th Emmys were named and, simultaneously, more than a few cast reunions took place amid the ceremony. The stars of shows like The Sopranos, Martin and Ally McBeal were among those who popped up during the show. So some may have found it a bit odd that the cast of one of the most iconic sitcoms in the history of TV wasn’t involved. Jesse Collins and Jeannae Rouzan-Clay, who oversaw the ceremony this year, addressed that while speaking with The Hollywood Reporter. As mentioned by Rouzan-Clay, their absence came down to how the actors are likely feeling about their loss at this point:

It’s still very fresh for them.

Matthew Perry died at 54 in October and, at the time, it was reported that his passing was due to an accidental drowning at his home. By December, his official cause of death was revealed as being the result of “the acute effects of ketamine” and other health factors. To the producer’s point it hasn’t been too long since Perry’s unfortunate passing, and his co-stars may indeed need more time and space to grieve. Jesse Collins shared some additional thoughts on that:

We had talked about it early on — but I can imagine, from their side, they’re mourning someone who was still very close to them. I can’t speak for them, but we all have to respect that they were their own family. It was probably just a little too soon.

The five actors – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer – have spoken out about their late colleague, sweetly paying tribute to him. They initially released a touching joint statement, before sharing their individual remembrances of the Chandler Bing actor. Aniston also opened up about texting with him the morning before his death and also said that he was “happy” and “healthy” at the time. When most recently asked about how fans can honor her longtime collaborator, Aniston shared two words of advice: “Celebrate him.”

On that note, even if there was no reunion, it was wonderful to see the Emmys pay tribute to Matthew Perry as part of its In Memoriam segment. Even Friends’ theme song – The Rembrandts’ “I'll Be There for You" –  was played in his honor. While some may be disappointed that the other cast members didn’t appear at the event, one definitely has to respect their privacy during this time. I think many would agree that like all of us, they also deserve to mourn and process their loss in their time.

Those who’d like to check out Matthew Perry’s work on Friends can stream all 10 seasons using a Max subscription. You can also watch Perry’s other TV shows and movies if you’d like to cherish his work.