Salli Richardson-Whitfield will direct the table read, and although Union has yet to announce which actors will play which characters, the star-studded lineup is an impressive one: Sterling K. Brown, Ryan Bathe, Uzo Aduba, Aisha Hinds, Kendrick Sampson and Jeremy Pope will all be participating in the Zoom call.
As with many virtual table reads during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Friends reading will be raising awareness for a charity. Union has chosen to spotlight When We All Vote, a non-partisan voter registration organization co-chaired by Michelle Obama.
Zoom Where It Happens previously hosted an all-black table read for Golden Girls, starring Tracee Ellis Ross as Rose, Regina King as Dorothy, Alfre Woodard taking on Sophia, Sanaa Lathan portraying Blanche and Jesse Williams as several male characters. It was directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and narrated by Lena Waithe.
Back in 2017, Jay-Z staged his own all-Black Friends remake in his “Moonlight” music video, starring Jerrod Carmichael, Issa Rae, Tiffany Haddish, Tessa Thompson, LaKeith Stanfield and Lil Rel Howery. The video replaced the show’s iconic theme song, the Rembrandt’s “I’ll Be There for You,” with Whodini’s early hip-hop single “Friends.”