Matthew Perry defended by Friends reunion director after ‘unkind’ remarks

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The director of Friends: The Reunion has jumped to defend Matthew Perry after viewers voiced concerns about his appearance and speech during the one-off show.

Some fans claimed Matthew, 51, was slurring his words and appeared groggy as he reunited with his former co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Matt Le Blanc and David Schwimmer during the special which aired last week.

However, it was soon revealed that Matthew had undergone emergency dental work just hours before filming the show, which resulted in him struggling to speak clearly.

Ben Winston, the brains behind the record-breaking reunion, has now spoken out on how it was to work alongside the Chandler Bing actor.

Speaking about Matthew on The Hollywood Reporter's TV's Top 5 podcast, Ben said: "He was great. People can sometimes just be unkind. I wish they weren't.

"I loved working with him. He's a brilliantly funny man and I thought he had some great one-liners in the show.

"I felt just happy and lucky to be in his presence and directing him on something like this."

Producer of the original series of Friends, which ran for 10 years, Kevin S Bright spoke separately to The Hollywood Reporter about Matthew.

He said: "I talked to him. It was great seeing him again. And what people say is what people say. I don't have any to say about that, except it was great to see him.

"And I think he's very funny on the show. But yes, I think he's OK.

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"He seems stronger and better since the last time I saw him, and excited about going forward."

A source cleared up the reason behind Matthew's slurred speech to The Sun last week, saying: "Matthew turned up to the reunion and members of his team said that he had an emergency tooth procedure that day.

"That was said to impact his wellbeing and also how he was feeling. He had been in pain from what we understand, which caused the slurred speech."

They added: "Obviously no one wants to film after a procedure, but it happened.

"The feeling was one of huge sympathy for Matthew especially in recent days given how people have reacted online.

"Matthew has told those around him that he is sober, and there is no need to worry."

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