Trina McGee Says That ‘Boy Meets World’ Stars Have Apologized for Racism on Set
Danielle Fishel and Will Friedle have both come forward with apologies.
Trina McGee, best known as Angela Moore on Boy Meets World, has opened up about the racism she endured on set of the '90s sitcom. Back in January, before recent protests brought heightened attention to the systemic racism throughout the country, McGee tweeted about specific experiences on set, including being called "Aunt Jemima" by castmate Will Friedle, who played Eric Matthews.
"Called aunt Jemima on set during hair and make up," McGee wrote. "Called a bitter bitch when I quietly waited for my scene to finish rehearsing that was being f’ed up over and over due to episode featuring my character." In another tweet, she also wrote that her "happy hellos" were "greeted with blank cold stares" on set. It was later revealed that this was in reference to her time appearing on the 2014 revival show Girl Meets World, and that co-star Danielle Fishel, who played Angela's best friend, Topanga, was the one dishing out the cold stares.
McGee was the only Black main cast member on the show, and in a recent interview with Yahoo Entertainment, she explained the lasting effects of the racism she experienced on set. She told the source she couldn't "shake the hurt of some words and situations that were said."
McGee also expressed why she didn't feel comfortable speaking out on these issues at the time. "I feel like I’m always the one who had to squelch it and move on. 'You could get sued. You could get fired. You could ruin this person's career,'" McGee said. "What about me? What about all this stuff I’m taking and ingesting in me, and not really totally realizing how much it’s lowering my vibration, my self-esteem."
McGee continued: "I didn't say it 20 years ago but I'm saying it now. And honestly, I said it way before I knew any of the world's changes were about to happen."
Since calling out the racism on Twitter, McGee has received apologies from her former castmates. In April, she shared an Instagram post explaining that Friedle, "the man responsible for AuntJemimagate," had apologized to her for his offensive remarks 22 years and again recently in a three-page letter. "We talked more on it and he acknowledged that he really wasn’t educated enough in his early twenties to know he was truly offending me," she wrote. "THIS SHOULD AND COULD BE A TEACHING MOMENT FOR ALL. For all people of all races or different backgrounds."
More recently in June, Fishel apologized to McGee for being cold on set of Girl Meets World. After Fishel posted in support of Black Lives Matter and learning about anti-racism, a fan asked her to address her treatment of McGee. "I owed @realtrinamcgee an apology for being rude, cold, & distant when she guest starred on GMW (her tweet regarding warm hellos being met with cold blank stares was about me)," Fishel wrote. "Trina and I spoke over a month ago and she gracefully accepted my apology."
McGee addressed this apology in her recent interview with Yahoo, saying that the current relationship between them now is "decent."
"We're very complimentary of each other," she said. "She goes out of her way to say, 'Hey, are you okay?' She actually just sent me a cute picture of her baby... so I'm not trying to hang around and have a grudge against the girl or anything, I'm just slowly trying to take steps to trusting."
In mid-June, she tweeted a photo of herself, Friedle, and Fishel on the set of Boy Meets World, and wrote "Over the last months with so much tension going on, these two people in this pic with me have really gone out of their way to check on me, show sincerity and healing. I did not expect this but am grateful for this experience. Let the healing begin. Yes!"
McGee told Yahoo that this experience between the three former co-stars could be seen as an example of "teaching culture" rather than "cancel culture."
"It really changed and affected their lives and their bubble," she said. "How they see things and what they say, and their responsibility of dealing with white privilege and white fragility."