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Matthew Perry Says He’ll Remove Keanu Reeves From Future Editions of His Memoir

Photo Credit: Mike Pont / WireImage / Getty Images and Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Mike Pont / WireImage / Getty Images and Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

In 2022, Friends actor Matthew Perry released a memoir titled Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. It is a candid telling of his struggle with addiction and substance abuse and was intended to be a helpful tool for people who may be going through the same things. However, Perry came under fire because segments of the book are insulting to actor Keanu Reeves. Almost a year later, Perry is making a promise to remove the insults from all future editions.

Perry’s memoir cited Reeves’ name… twice

Headshot of Keanu Reeves.
Actor Keanu Reeves attends the premiere of “Knock Knock” at TCL Chinese Theatre on October 7, 2015, in Hollywood, California. (Photo Credit: Jason Kempin / Getty Images)

In his memoir, Perry first mentions Reeves when describing the loss of his late friend and fellow actor, River Phoenix, due to an accidental overdose. Perry wrote, “River was a beautiful man, inside and out — too beautiful for this world, it turned out. It always seems to be the really talented guys who go down. Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?”

He again insults Reeves when describing the loss of another late friend, comedian Chris Farley, to an overdose. Perry explained, “I punched a hole through Jennifer Aniston’s dressing room wall when I found out. Keanu Reeves walks among us.” In both instances, Perry seems to be indicating that he doesn’t feel Reeves deserves to be alive.

He has already apologized

View of Matthew Perry sitting on a chair, a table in front of him holding his memoir on display.
Matthew Perry appears on stage at the 2023 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at the University of Southern California on April 22, 2023, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo Credit: David Livingston / Getty Images)

As one can imagine, fans and friends of the beloved Reeves were pretty upset after reading the excerpts. Perry experienced significant backlash from his choice to reference Reeves, with stars like Linda Carter and Rachel Zegler tweeting, “Come on… Keanu Reeves is like one of those frozen cakes. Nobody doesn’t like him!” and “personally thrilled that [K]eanu reeves walks among us,” respectively.

At the time, Perry apologized for the comments, making a formal statement in October 2022 expressing that he is actually “a big fan” of Reeves. He explained that the reason he used Reeves’ name was simply “random,” but still said, “I apologize. I should have used my own name instead.” However, Perry obviously felt that this apology wasn’t enough, as he addressed the insults again months later.

His memoir will no longer mention Reeves

Matthew Perry speaking with his hands out in front of him while seated.
New York Times bestselling author Matthew Perry speaks about his book with Matt Brennan during the 28th Annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at the University of Southern California on Saturday, April 22, 2023, in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo Credit: Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images).

Perry attended the L.A. Times Festival of Books in April 2023 and brought up the whole ordeal while on a panel, noting that he intends to remove Reeves’ name from all future editions of the memoir. He offered another explanation for his decision to insult Reeves: “I pulled his name because I live on the same street.” Even so, he admitted, “I said a stupid thing. It was a mean thing to do.”

More from us: Keanu Reeves Nearly Chose the Most ’80s Stage Name Ever

Despite his public apologies, Perry has not yet addressed Reeves in person. However, he is ready to do so the next time they meet. “If I run into the guy, I’ll apologize.” At the end of the day, Perry has said that his decision in this matter “was just stupid.”

Do you think Matthew Perry’s apologies are sincere? Share your thoughts with us below.

Samantha Franco

Samantha Franco is a Freelance Content Writer who received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Guelph, and her Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Western Ontario. Her research focused on Victorian, medical, and epidemiological history with a focus on childhood diseases. Stepping away from her academic career, Samantha previously worked as a Heritage Researcher and now writes content for multiple sites covering an array of historical topics.

In her spare time, Samantha enjoys reading, knitting, and hanging out with her dog, Chowder!