Matthew Perry, one of the stars of the popular television series “Friends,” has publicly apologized to Keanu Reeves for making a controversial reference to him in his 2022 memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.” Perry appeared at the LA Times Festival of Books on Saturday, telling the audience he plans to remove Reeves’ name from future book editions.
The memoir details Perry’s struggles with substance abuse and addiction. However, last fall, the actor faced backlash for references to Reeves that some found offensive, including one excerpt about his friend River Phoenix’s death in 1993. Perry wrote in the book, “Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?”
The comment led to criticism from fans, and Perry quickly apologized for the statement, saying in a statement to People in October 2022 that he was “a big fan” of Reeves and had just chosen a “random name” in the prose. “I apologize. I should have used my name instead,” he added.
During the LA Times Festival of Books panel, Perry addressed the Reeves mention again, admitting that “I said a stupid thing. It was a mean thing to do,” according to the LA Times.
“I pulled his name because I live on the same street,” Perry said during the panel, noting that “any future versions of the book will not have his name in it.”
While Perry had previously apologized to Reeves, he also mentioned on Saturday that he’s yet to apologize to the “Matrix” star in person.
“If I run into the guy, I’ll apologize. It was just stupid,” Perry concluded.
Perry’s memoir details his battle with addiction, which began while filming “Friends” in the 1990s. The actor has been open about his struggles with drugs and alcohol over the years and has used his platform to raise awareness about addiction and mental health.
Perry’s decision to remove Reeves’ name from future editions of his book highlights the importance of being mindful of the impact of our words on others. While Perry may have intended his comment as a harmless joke, it had the potential to cause harm and offend others.
Apologizing for our mistakes and taking steps to rectify them is an important part of being a responsible member of society. Perry’s willingness to apologize and make amends for his comment is an important reminder to us all to be mindful of our words and actions and take responsibility for the impact they may have on others.