Why David Schwimmer Faced Heat Over His Exotic Pet On Friends

"Friends" had many incredible actors on the show, and we're not just talking about the humans. The NBC sitcom show was filled with animal actors, from Joey and Chandler's chick and duck to Rachel's brief cat phase with Mrs. Whiskerson. The show had critters running around all the time, but probably one of the most memorable animals for fans is Marcel the Monkey.

Many even say that Marcel was an OG cast member. The monkey was introduced in Season 1, Episode 10, titled "The One with the Monkey." In the episode, David Schwimmer's character, Ross, gets a pet monkey following his first divorce. The two were inseparable for the next eleven episodes, but while Schwimmer and the monkey may have had chemistry on-screen, that wasn't the truth in real life. In 1995, Schwimmer had some harsh words about Marcel, who was actually a female named Katie. He told Entertainment Weekly, "I hate the monkey. I wish it were dead."

Although fans were sad to say goodbye to Marcel in the 11 episode of the first season, it's clear that Schwimmer was ready to walk the monkey out the door. And even though the exotic pet was only a part of the show for a brief time, it's still memorable to fans and even the cast. But Schwimmer's dislike toward the monkey has lasted even all these years later, and he has faced some heat for it.

David Schwimmer still can't stand Marcel the Monkey

Plenty of things have changed about David Schwimmer since 1995, but one thing that hasn't changed is how he can't stand Marcel the monkey from "Friends."

In 2019, co-star Matt LeBlanc gave insight on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" into his time filming with the monkey and how Schwimmer felt about it. He shared, "I liked the monkey, I like animals, the monkey was really cool, Schwimmer not so much. He's the one that had to work with it the most, so he was like, 'Again, with the monkey.'" From the moment Marcel, a.k.a Katie, stepped on set, Schwimmer was not a fan and has made it known throughout the years.

During the "Friends: The Reunion" in 2021, Schwimmer ranted about the monkey after an audience member asked what they didn't like about the iconic sitcom, per NME. "What inevitably began to happen was we would all have choreographed bits kind of timed out, and it would get messed up because the monkey didn't do its job right," Schwimmer continued, "So we would have to reset, we'd have to go again because the monkey didn't get it right." For the "American Crime Story" actor, his hatred toward the exotic pet came down to his inability to meet certain marks, and it didn't help that Marcel would get fed while on Schwimmer's shoulder. He shared, "I would have monkey grubby hands all over. It was just time for Marcel to f*** off!"

Marcel's trainers were upset with David Schwimmer

David Schwimmer has been open about disliking Marcel the Monkey, but his comments on "Friends: The Reunion" went too far for the monkey's trainers. In an interview with The Sun, Marcel's trainer, Mike Morris, claimed that Schwimmer was "jealous" of the monkey for making people laugh more than he did.

Morris said that Katie got along with plenty of the cast, including Jennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc, but never meshed well with Schwimmer. Morris told the outlet, "I have refused to [watch 'Friends'] ever since he did an interview after the animals got written out of the show, and he said they tried to bite him and throw poop at him." Morris suggested none of Schwimmer's claims about the monkey were true, and if anything, it was the actor always throwing Katie off. 

He continued, "Schwimmer was fine with the monkeys for the first couple of episodes and happy to be there. But people would laugh at the monkey, and I think he got jealous because it wasn't him getting the laughs." Ultimately, the trainer is unhappy that Schwimmer still talks bad about the exotic pet, and he hasn't been the only one who has called the actor out. PETA also shared a post on Facebook criticizing the "Friends" actor and the show for "forcing" Marcel to perform.