If you’ve been faking your way through conversations about the all-black Friends recreation in Jay-Z’s new video “Moonlight” because you don’t have Tidal, you can stop now. The 4:44 track’s viral video is finally on YouTube for your streaming pleasure.
The brilliant video by Master of None co-creator Alan Yang is both a mediation on race representation in the industry and also a stark reminder that, yes, Friends was racist (and homophobic). For the video, Yang did a shot-for-shot remake of a scene from the Season Three episode “The One Where No One’s Ready,” which features cups of fat and a phone call from a boyfriend (voiced by Jay-Z), but that’s not what the video is about.
Besides featuring a cast that includes Issa Rae as Rachel, Tessa Thompson as Monica, Tiffany Haddish as Phoebe, Lakeith Stanfield as Chandler, and Lil Rel as Joey, the crux of the video focuses on Jerrod Carmichael as Ross. After Hannibal Buress shows up to say how lame the concept of a “black Friends” is, Carmichael breaks the fourth wall and wanders off the set while Jay-Z’s song plays.
At the end of the video, Carmichael walks through a door off set and onto a field where he sits on a bench and looks up at the moon—all while audio plays from this year’s Academy Awards when La La Land was mistakenly announced as the Best Picture winner instead of Moonlight.
It’s a powerful, moving video that even made Jay-Z cry when he saw it, and you owe it to yourself to watch it now that it’s been freed from the confines of Tidal.