Ben Winston, the director of the Friends reunion special, has condemned people’s criticism of Matthew Perry.

Winston, who pitched the idea for a Friends reunion to the show’s six stars after re-watching the series, has described fans’ commentary of the actor as “unkind.”

After clips from the Friends reunion started to circulate, fans and media alike began to speculate that Matthew Perry is not okay, given the actor’s history of substance abuse.

One article by Page Six, for example, was titled: ‘Matthew Perry stuns fans with slurred speech in ‘Friends’ reunion promo.’

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Ben Winston has spoken out in defence of Matthew Perry, saying “he was great.”

“People can sometimes just be unkind,” he said. “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.”

In a separate interview with THRFriends producer Kevin S. Bright echoed Ben’s sentiment, stating, “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. He seems stronger and better since the last time I saw him, and excited about going forward.”

Meanwhile, an insider recently gave an excuse for Perry’s alleged slurring to The Sun, claiming that he “turned up to the reunion [in April] 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.”

Apparently he had “been in pain from what we understand, which caused the slurred speech,” they continued. “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.”

So there ya go, fuckos.