The producers of the Emmys have explained why the Friends cast did not take part in the emotional tribute to late co-star Matthew Perry at Sunday night's ceremony.


Executive producer Jeannae Rouzan-Clay told The Hollywood Reporter that "it’s still very fresh for them" following Perry's tragic death aged 54 in October 2023.

And Jesse Collins added: "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."

Perry was the final star to be honoured during the ceremony's In Memoriam segment, which also included tributes to a number of other big names from the world of TV who passed away in the last year including Norman Lear, Len Goodman, and Alan Arkin.

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Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing in Friends, smiling against a neutral background
Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing in Friends. NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

A sombre version of the iconic Friends theme tune I’ll Be There for You was performed by musicians Charlie Puth and The War and Treaty when Perry's name and picture appeared on the screen.

Matt LeBlanc, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox and David Schwimmer had previously each shared personal tributes in the weeks after Perry's death.

They had initially released a joint statement in the immediate aftermath, saying they were "utterly devastated" by the news and adding: "We were more than just castmates. We are a family. There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss."

In mid-November, LeBlanc shared a number of photos of him and Perry on Instagram, and wrote: "It is with a heavy heart I say goodbye. The times we had together are honestly among the favourite times of my life."

(L-R) Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry
Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry Warner Bros

The following day, Cox posted her own tribute writing: "I am so grateful for every moment I had with you Matty and I miss you every day," while Aniston released a lengthy statement in which she concluded: "Matty, I love you so much and I know you are now completely at peace and out of any pain."


Meanwhile, Schwimmer wrote a statement that began: "Thank you for ten incredible years of laughter and creativity," and Kudrow wrote: "Thank you for the best 10 years a person gets to have."